ReviewSTL Podcast Episode 10: Best and Worst Films of 2013
Jan 2014 15

Gravity Movie PosterIn honor of Blake returning to the land of the living, we toss back some drinks and listen to the story of his journey through Hades and back…

Just kidding.

This week, we tackled what we considered our favorite films of the past year. 2013 had no shortage of quality films, and we were all able to find one or two in particular that were pleasing to our palates. Matt tackled outer space and the superlative Alfonso Cuaron work Gravity, while Joe stuck to his comic book origins and talked about Man of Steel. Blake discusses Her, as well some of his favorite comedies: The Spectacular Now and Enough Said.

American Hustle PosterSteve brought up a couple of personal favorites, the baseball narrative 42 and Captain Phillips, while Kevin discussed a slew of films, including American Hustle, 12 Years a Slave, and The Wolf of Wall Street.

We even talk about some of our least favorite films of 2013, like the atrocious Getaway.

So kick back, listen to our sexy voices for an hour, and welcome Blake back.

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Review: WWE Monday Night Raw (1/13)
Jan 2014 15

BryanThis week’s edition of Monday Night Raw continued to build upon the upcoming Royal Rumble pay per view. The main storyline to get a lot of attention was the Daniel Bryan/Bray Wyatt story. While it appeared that Bryan had gone to the dark side and joined the buzzards, apparently things changed on Raw. After opening the show against the Uso’s, Bryan and the Wyatt clan were upset after losing the opening match. This led to Bray hitting Bryan with a Sister Abigail in the middle of the ring. Rowan and Harper then drug Bryan into the back. It was announced that the pair of Bryan and Wyatt would get a shot at the Uso’s in the main event, which would be inside a steel cage.

Personally, I feel the point of having a steel cage is ridiculous in today’s WWE. Fans know that WWE has a no blood policy, so what is the point of a steel cage? That’s just my opinion though; I will reserve my rant for another time.

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28: ‘Her’ Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams
Jan 2014 13

Her Movie PosterThis week on the show we dig into Her. We delve into Her? We tackle Her? As you’ll hear this is a joke we do not tire of.


The movie of the week stars and Joaquin Phoenix as a man who falls in love with an Operating System (yeah, you read that right) and Scarlet Johansen as the voice of the aforementioned OS. But it all ends up making a lot more sense than it would seem to have any right to. And we, of course, treat the subject matter with dignity and respect it deserves…as we plunge into Her.

It’s Reel Spoilers #28 – Her.

You’ve been warned.

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Movie Review: ‘August: Osage County’ Starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor
Jan 2014 10

August Osage County PosterBased on the 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, August: Osage County attempts to translate the dark comedy from the stage to the big screen. Packed with an A-list cast, you certainly can’t make the argument that they didn’t get enough star power. Tracy Letts, the award-winning author of the play was even responsible for the screenplay. Yet unfortunately, the film doesn’t quite capture the magic of the dysfunctional family the same way that the stage show does.

After interviewing a new housekeeper (Misty Upham), Beverly Weston (Sam Shepard) disappears. His wife Violet (Meryl Streep), a cancer patient with a severe addiction to pills, fears the worst and calls all of her estranged children to come home to Oklahoma. Violet’s sister Mattie Fae (Margo Martindale) and her husband Charlie (Chris Cooper) along with their son Little Chris (Benedict Cumberbatch), youngest daughter Ivy (Julianne Nicholson), eldest daughter Barbara (Julia Roberts) and husband Bill (Ewan McGregor) with their daughter Jean (Abigail Breslin), and middle daughter Karen (Juliette Lewis) and her fiancé Steve (Dermot Mulroney) all gather at the house to make one big dysfunctional family.

Having seen the national tour of August: Osage County when it came to the Fabulous Fox Theatre in 2010, I had high hopes for the film adaptation. The play had become one of my favorites of all time, with fantastic acting and an intriguing story. I knew that it wouldn’t be easy to pull off a movie version, but I wasn’t too worried with the cast that was assembled. Unfortunately the magic of the stage just wasn’t there. Often times the film comes off as tedious and a bit boring, whereas the pacing of the stage show was spot on. Also, the story is supposed to be a dark comedy – yet the film appears to try and take itself too seriously. The result is a bunch of actors that just come off as awkward.

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Movie Review: ‘Her’ Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson
Jan 2014 10

Her Movie PosterAt first glance, the idea of a film that revolves around a man falling in love with his smartphone might seem a bit odd. Yet as you watch Spike Jonze’s latest film Her, you realize that it is about so much more.

Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is a writer living in a not-so-distant Los Angeles of the future. His job is to create beautiful love letters for people who lack the creativity – or perhaps a better word is motivation. After a heartbreaking end to his relationship with his ex Catherine (Rooney Mara), Theodore stumbles upon the “first artificially intelligent operating system, or OS. Unlike the ones we know today, this OS has a name and a personality – and her name is Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). What starts out as a companionship turns into more as Theodore starts to fall in love with Samantha, while he teaches Her how to love.

I can’t imagine this film being anywhere near as brilliant as it is without the performance given by Joaquin Phoenix. He is in almost every scene, and pretty much front and center the entire time. There are great supporting actors like Amy Adams, who plays his neighbor, and Chris Pratt who works in his office. Yet the real magic comes from the interaction between Theodore and Samantha. And the emotion that Phoenix exudes while interacting with nothing but a handheld device is magnificent. The actor has been one of my favorites since I saw him in his first major role as the villain Commodus in Gladiator, and has continued to impress me with role after role. This may be the best performance of his career, and that is saying a lot coming off of the likes of The Master last year.

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