78: ‘American Sniper’ Starring Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller

American Sniper PosterFor episode 78 we set our sights (get it?) on American Sniper. Clint Eastwood returns to the director’s chair (and we all know how much he loves chairs) to give us the story of the deadliest sniper in military history. But the real question is…can we make it through such a sensitive topic without saying something horribly offensive? Only time will tell.

Also, the return of Dan means we get a Video Recovery. So there’s that.

It’s Reel Spoilers #78 – American Sniper.

You’ve been warned.

Starring: Tom O’Keefe, Dan Graney, Joe Buttice, Kevin Brackett
Run-time: 1hr 26min

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Movie Review: ‘American Sniper’ is the Best Film of the Year

American Sniper PosterClint Eastwood masterfully directs and Bradley Cooper gives the performance of a lifetime as Chris Kyle, the Navy Seal sniper who recorded more kills than any soldier in U.S. History.

Am I a bit biased here? Perhaps, given that I was one of the few who thoroughly enjoyed Eastwood’s “Jersey Boys.” The director has an eye for great war stories, just look at Letters From Iwo Jima or Flags of Our Fathers.

Critics and moviegoers can say what they want about the top performances of the year, but Cooper is at the top of the list.

The film tells the story of Chris Kyle and his struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after returning from his tour of duty following 9/11. Some of the best scenes in the film involve Kyle trying to cope with the reality of being back at home as a civilian, and more importantly, a husband and father.

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77: ‘Taken 3′ Starring Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker

Taken 3 PosterThis week on the show it’s Taken 3. The first one was awesome, the second one…not so much. Is the third time a charm? Well, let’s just say that Liam Neeson isn’t the only one with a special set of skills. It’s just that his skills are much cooler. We might not be able defend ourselves in a bar fight but we can really hurt your feelings while you’re punching us.

All this plus a special guest joins us this week. Bonnie Richardson, formerly of 105.7 The Point and 97FM The Rock, joins the spoilage.

It’s Reel Spoilers #77: Taken 3.

You’ve been warned.

Starring: Tom O’Keefe, Bonnie Richardson, Blake Fehl, Joe Buttice, Kevin Brackett
Run-time: 1hr 18min

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76: ‘The Interview’ Starring Seth Rogen, James Franco, Lizzy Caplan

The Interview PosterIt’s this week’s most important movie ever…The Interview. People haven’t been this outraged by a Korean themed piece of American pop culture since AfterM*A*S*H. And we’re here to spoil it for you.

Plus, since it’s available (legally) on the internet you have no excuse not to listen. None of that “But I haven’t seen the movie yet” crap for you this week, Mr. (or Mrs. (or Miss (or Ms. (or madam)))).

It’s Reel Spoilers #76: The Interview

You’ve been warned.

Starring: Tom O’Keefe, Blake Fehl, Joe Buttice, Kevin Brackett
Run-time: 1hr 18min

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Cirque du Soleil “Vareki” Open Now Through January 11 at the Chaifetz Arena

A captivating forest inhabited by whimsical and enchanted creatures.

Cirque du Soleil Varekai St Louis

Photo: Martin Girard / shootstudio.ca Costumes: Eiko Ishioka © 2014 Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil returns to St. Louis with their critically acclaimed production of Vareki! Premiering in Montréal in 2002, over 8 million people have enjoyed the show in over 72 cities and 20 countries. Now through January 11, St. Louis can enjoy the explosive fusion of drama and acrobatics at the Chaifetz Arena.

Buy Tickets Now at Ticketmaster.

Varekai features stunning cast of 50 performers and musicians from 18 different countries. More that 33,000 hours of work has gone into the brilliant costume design for the show, lead by renowned designer Eiko Ishioka. There are over 600 costumes, shoes, wigs, hats and accessories used in each performance.

The production is packed full of breathtaking scenery, from The Forest (over 300 trees between 4.5 and 10.5 meters tall) to The Stage (a golden clearing 12.8 meters wide), and the Catwalk (a 30 meter long staircase the actors use to travel over the stage) to the Lookout (a 7-square-meter cabin, serving as the centerpiece of the set)

For more information about Vareki, visit cirquedusoleil.com.

Photo: Martin Girard / shootstudio.ca Costumes: Eiko Ishioka  © 2014 Cirque du Soleil

Photo: Martin Girard / shootstudio.ca Costumes: Eiko Ishioka © 2014 Cirque du Soleil

About the show:

Deep within a forest, at the summit of a volcano, exists an extraordinary world – a world where something else is possible. A world called Varekai.

From the sky falls a solitary young man, and the story of Varekai begins. Parachuted into the shadows of a magical forest, a kaleidoscopic world populated by fantastical creatures, this young man sets off on an adventure both absurd and extraordinary. On this day at the edge of time, in this place of all possibilities, begins an inspired incantation to life rediscovered.

The word Varekai means “wherever” in the Romany language of the gypsies the universal wanderers. This production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to the infinite passion of those whose quest takes them along the path that leads to Varekai.

Movie Review: ‘The Interview’ Starring Seth Rogen, James Franco

The Interview PosterFirst it was on, then it was off, now it’s on again, sort of. The Interview, a comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogen has been one of the hottest topics in the entertainment world this past week. Thanks to the reaction of many after the film was taken out of theaters, it’s not gotten a new lease on life. It’s now become an act of patriotism to see this film. Looking at it as a way to defy a dictator, I used my debit card and fed my television $6 to do my part in protecting freedom of speech. God Bless America!

Regardless of how funny The Interview is, it will forever go down as the film that upset North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un so much that he declared it an “act of war.”

Now that I have seen the movie for myself, it makes me laugh to think that theaters were scared to show the film, as it’s truly nothing more than a sophomoric comedy.

James Franco plays Dave Skylark, a self-centered celebrity talk show host. Seth Rogen play Aaron Rapaport, Skylark’s uptight producer.

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75: ‘Into the Woods’ Starring Anna Kendrick, James Corden, Emily Blunt

Into the Woods PosterThis week Vic Porcelli joins us in the War Room to discuss Into the Woods. If you live in St. Louis then you probably recognize Vic as a staple of local radio who currently co-hosts the morning show on Fresh 102.5. What you might not know is that Vic is also an Into the Woods aficionado and has performed in two separate productions of this Stephen Sondheim classic. So sit back as we dissect the differences be stage and screen and still manage to get you home before dark…but just barely.

It’s Reel Spoilers #75 – Into the Woods

You’ve been warned.

Starring: Vic Porcelli, Tom O’Keefe, Joe Buttice, Kevin Brackett
Run-time: 1hr 32min

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74: ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ Starring Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage

This we tackle The Hobbit. Which is good because they’re easy to tackle unless you get one of the invisible ones. We’re down to three this week as Blake and Kevin are out Christmas shopping. Together? We’ll never tell.

But we discuss the Sony hacking scandal and its potential Spider-man ramifications, political leanings are revealed, and the mantle of “creepy” almost passes from Joe to another. All this plus a Video Recovery from Dan and a Box Office Report (eventually) from Tom.

It’s Reel Spoilers #74 – The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

You’ve been warned.

Starring: Tom O’Keefe, Joe Buttice, Dan Graney,
Run-time: 1hr 17min

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73: ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ Starring Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton

Exodus Movie PosterRain! Rain! The crops are saved! Hollywood finally made a new movie. Well, if you count yet another Moses movie as “new”. But it’s been two weeks since we’ve had a major release so, like being at a bar at closing time, it ain’t pretty but we’ll take it.

Ridley Scott gives us Exodus: Gods & Kings the original tale of “white flight” starring Christian Bale as Moses while the Red Sea is being played by the tears of film critics. All this plus Tom uses the phrase “dead babies” way more than he probably should.

It’s Reel Spoilers #73 – Exodus: Gods & Kings

You’ve been warned.

Starring: Tom O’Keefe, Joe Buttice, Dan Graney, Kevin Brackett
Run-time: 1hr 17min

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72: The Year Was 1973 (The Sting, Paper Moon, Live and Let Die, Enter The Dragon, Sleeper)

The Sting PosterHollywood takes another week off. (Pyramid? A horror movie? In December? Really?) Well, just because they phoned it in doesn’t mean we did.

Instead of spotlighting a film we decided to focus on a year. So we fired up our Random Year Generator (Patent Pending) and it spit out 1973. We’ve each picked a beloved film to discuss. Some are more beloved than others but none of them are actually Beloved. And not just because that came out in 1998.

It’s Reel Spoilers #72: 1973. You’ve been warned.

Starring: Tom O’Keefe, Blake Fehl, Joe Buttice, Dan Graney, Kevin Brackett
Run-time: 1hr 45min

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