Whiskey and Popcorn Reviews: GET DUKED! Is a New Cult Classic

Tuesday Mahrle and Kaely Monahan

—By Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle

What happens when you take three juvenile delinquents and one home-schooled teen from the big city to the Scottish Highlands for some good-old-fashioned scouting? You might not expect a thriller-comedy, but that’s exactly what Get Duked! delivers.

Originally titled Boyz in the Wood, this film won the audience award at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival. Now it has dropped on Amazon, Aug. 28.

Samuel Bottomley, Viraj Juneja, Lewis Gribben and Rian Gordon star in GET DUKED!
Photo: Brian Sweeney, courtesy of Amazon Studios

Dean (Rian Gordon), Duncan (Lewis Gribben) and William a.k.a. DJ Beatroot (Viraj Juneja) are being sent to better their characters by participating in the annual youth orienteering event called the “Duke of Edinburgh Award.” By completing a day-long trek, teens are supposed to learn teamwork, foraging and how to read a paper map. And also learn to connect with nature. The only one excited by the prospect is the awkward and very sheltered Ian (Samuel Bottomley). The four boys are loosely led by Mr. Carlyle (Kevin Guthrie), who is less of a scout guide than an inadequate chaperon.

Things get off to a rocky start as the map is torn up in order to make joints of “cannabis.” Despite Ian’s best efforts to get the others to take the award seriously, the lads hike jauntily into the wild farmlands.

But as they go along, they realize they are not alone. Besides the farmers, the boys find themselves stalked by two masked Highlanders. The husband and wife hunters make it a sport to expel all city-youths that come each year to complete the Duke of Edinburgh Award. As if that twist is not bizarre enough, the local Highland police are on the hunt for a terrorist ring that they erroneously believe has come to their local jurisdiction. Add to that a bread thief and some hip-hop music video attempts by DJ Beatroot, we get a film that is part Hot Fuzz, part The Hills Have Eyes, and part Patti Cake$.

For a teen comedy, this film is ridiculously funny and is a fresh take on the teen-boy genre.


Whiskey and Popcorn is a movie podcast by local film critics Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle. You can hear their full movie reviews on whiskeyandpopcorn.org.

Whiskey and Popcorn Reviews: Hidden Gems to Stream

Tuesday Mahrle and Kaely Monahan

—By Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle

Netflix
The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)

This film, starring Paul Rudd, is not only funny, but also sentimental and heartwarming. Out of work Ben (Rudd) decides to register as a caregiver while struggling through a divorce. He is quickly hired to care for Trevor (Craig Roberts), an 18-year-old with muscular dystrophy. While Ben begins to learn Trevor’s routine, Trevor reveals his estranged relationship with his father. With a goal of seeing every roadside attraction along the way, Ben and Trevor embark on a road trip to visit Trevor’s father. As they learn about each other and themselves, they pick up a variety of roadside characters along the way, including Dot (Selena Gomez) and a pregnant woman named Peaches.

This movie doesn’t show one individual caring for another, but instead, it displays a beautiful buddy comedy showing how we relate to each other.

Honorable Mentions
Brick (2005)
Billy Elliot (2000)

Hulu
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

You might know New Zealander Taika Waititi from his latest film Jojo Rabbit or Thor: Ragnarok but if you missed his 2016 comedy Hunt or The Wilderpeople, do yourself a favor and go find it now on Hulu. Starring Julian Dennison and Sam Neill as foster son and foster father, the unlikely duo disappears deep into the New Zealand wilderness after the untimely demise of the foster wife. Ricky (Dennison) not wanting to return to the foster care system, goes with Hec (Neill) into the forest to escape child services. Together they both learn what it means to be a family. A hysterical coming-of-age film, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is not to be missed.

Honorable Mentions
Tangerine (2015)
I, Tonya (2017) Comedy

Amazon Prime
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1991)

Based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, we experience the play through the lens of Hamlet’s best friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. This tragicomedy focuses on the actions, or the lack thereof, by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Directed and written by Tom Stoppard, the film makes liberal use of “theater of the absurd” where the emphasis is on the absurdity of the human experience. It’s a very unusual form of comedy that fans of Shakespeare or Waiting for Godot will enjoy.

Honorable Mentions
Lady Bird (2017)
His Girl Friday (1940)

Disney Plus 
The Cat from Outer Space (1978)

If you grew up in the 70s, you might recognize this Disney film. Starring Ronnie Schell, Ken Berry, Sandy Duncan, McLean Stevenson and Harry Morgan, this family film delightfully capitalizes on the surge in space movies, but gives it its own unique twist.  Ronnie Schell voices the alien Abyssinian cat, Jake, who has to make an emergency landing on Earth. The U.S. Army is alerted to the landing and Jake’s spaceship is captured and intensely inspected.

Needing an ally, Jake teams up with Frank, an astrophysicist with a knack for thinking outside of the box. Together, they get into trouble, fall in love and eventually repair Jake’s ship. A wonderful film from the Disney archives that’s totally worth watching with the whole family.

Honorable Mentions
Holes (2003)
Jane (2017)


Whiskey and Popcorn is a movie podcast by local film critics Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle. You can hear their full movie reviews on whiskeyandpopcorn.org.

Whiskey and Popcorn Reviews: 5 Movies Directed by and Starring Black Filmmakers

Tuesday Mahrle and Kaely Monahan

—By Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle

With the death of George Floyd, Dion Johnson here in Phoenix, and many other people of color, conversations about race, racism, policing and the abuse of power are back on center stage. Hollywood has not been immune to promoting hurtful and tone-deaf narratives. The big studios have long promoted white, cis-gendered, male stories over those of women, people of color and the LGBTQ community. In recent years we have seen efforts to make changes. Waves of “Oscars So White” and “Time Out” sought to varying degrees of success to change the conversations in Tinseltown. And while there have been efforts to increase the visibility of Black film in particular, there is still a very long way to go.

As two white women, one identifying as pansexual and the other as cisgender, we strive to be aware of our own inherent biases when viewing films. With that in mind, we want to introduce you to five Black-made films that you might not have seen, and that we love.

Blindspotting

Directed by Carlos López Estrada, Blindspotting is a 2018 comedic drama both written, produced and starring Daveed Diggs (who you might recognize from the Broadway hit Hamilton) and Rafael Casal. The film follows parolee Collin Hoskins (Diggs) as he finishes his last three days of probation. His best friend since childhood Miles, is short tempered and reckless. Having grown up on the rougher side of the San Francisco Bay, Collin and Miles experience the divides between race. While Miles can get away with acting tough and being a troublemaker, Collin faces prejudice, bigotry and racism. Through humor and drama, Blindspotting examines the complicated nature of race and racism and who belongs.

You can watch it now on Amazon Prime.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco 

In a semi-autobiographical story, Jimmie Fails longs to return to the Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco. Each week he lovingly and covertly tends to the home, while avoiding the current occupants. When the homeowners are suddenly forced to leave the house, Jimmie seizes the opportunity to move in. But family secrets lay buried there and Jimmie realizes that family history isn’t always certain. Joined on his adventures by his best friend and artist, Montgomery, Jimmie searches for identity and belonging in a city that is ever changing.

The film was co-written by Jimmie Fails and JoeTalbot, and directed by Joe Talbot.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco is one of our top picks from Sundance 2019.

You can see it now on Amazon Prime.

BECOMING; Courtesy of Netflix

Becoming

Michelle Obama is just as iconic as her husband President Obama, and in the Netflix documentary on her life, we get a close and intimate look at the First Lady’s life. For those who haven’t read her memoir by the same name, the Netflix documentary allows for a speed round of Michelle Obama’s life, through the lens of her book tour.

Directed by Nadia Hallgren, Becoming shows the First Lady reflecting on her eight years in office with her husband and children as well as all the years that led up to that time.

You can see Becoming on Netflix.

American Son

In this Netflix adaptation of the Broadway play by Christopher Demos-Brown, American Son the film version premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film festival. Starring Kerry Washington, Steven Pasquale and Jeremy Jordan, the plot examines the unjustified killings of Black men at the hands of white police officers. A timely subject that is still exceptionally raw even today. Washington plays Kendra Ellis-Connor, a mother of a missing teenage boy. She is on the hunt to find out what happened to her son.

You can find American Son on Netflix.

Moonlight

The 2017 Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Moonlight explores three periods of life for Chiron. From young adolescence, to mid-teen and then to young adulthood, we see Chiron navigate what it means to grow up Black in a crime-ridden neighborhood in Miami, Florida. Chiron is shy and aloof, often observing his life instead of actively participating — at least until he is forced to interact. Bound up in this, is Chiron’s discovery of his sexuality as a gay man. Moonlight is poetic, stirring and beautiful.

Moonlight was written and Barry Jenkins, who also directed the fantastic 2019 film If Beale Street Could Talk.

You can watch Moonlight on Netflix.


Whiskey and Popcorn is a movie podcast by local film critics Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle. You can hear their full movie reviews on whiskeyandpopcorn.org.

Whiskey and Popcorn Reviews: What to Stream in June

Tuesday Mahrle and Kaely Monahan

—By Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle

The state might be reopening a bit, and we at Whiskey and Popcorn are emerging from our home theaters a bit bleary-eyed. It will still be some time before movie theaters choose to reopen, despite getting the green light from the governor. But not to worry! We have your June must-stream list ready!

Netflix

“Documentary Now!”
Series, Season 3

If you’re a fan of documentaries but need a bit of a laugh, look no further than “Documentary Now!” Entering its third season, this documentary parody series continues to poke fun at the various styles of doc-making. The crowning jewel of this season is the spoof on a 1970s doc by the name of “Original Cast Album: Company.”  It documents the recording of the cast album for the Sondheim musical “Company.” It’s a cult favorite among true musical theater aficionados. The “Documentary Now!” version stars John Mulaney, Taran Killam, and Richard Kind.

Lady Bird
Movie

Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird originally premiered in 2017 at the Telluride Film Festival. The film broke the Rotten Tomatoes record with 164 Fresh reviews and sat at “100% fresh” for months. If you didn’t have the fortune of seeing Lady Bird during its release to select theaters, now is your chance. The film follows Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan), an artistically-inclined Sacramento, CA native as she navigates late adolescence in Catholic high school. Despite the family’s financial woes, Christine applies to East Coast colleges in hopes of going far from her home and her family.

Amazon 

The Spy Who Dumped Me
Movie

Half comedy, half spy-thriller and full throttle sexy, The Spy Who Dumped Me is one of our surprising favorites from 2018. Starring Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon as two best-friends, the women quickly find themselves in over their heads when Kunis’ boyfriend turns out to be a spy on the run. Fearing that the same baddies who are after him will come after them, the duo fly to Europe to deliver a thumb drive filled with state secrets. Part Mission: Impossible and part The Man Who Knew Too Little, this film is surprisingly smart and just downright fun. And fans of “Outlander” will enjoy seeing the titular Sam Heughan in a slick black suit.

The Disaster Artist
Movie

Can you make a decent movie about the worst movie ever made? You certainly can. The Disaster Artist explores how the now cult-classic The Room got off the ground. Directed by and starring James Franco as Tommy Wiseau, The Disaster Artist yields more laughs than its source material (unless you are a diehard fan of The Room.) But if you haven’t seen Wiseau’s train-wreck of a film, save yourself the headache and watch The Disaster Artist instead. At least you won’t feel like you’ve wasted two hours of your life.

Hulu

“Solar Opposites”
Series, Season 1

From the creators of “Rick and Morty” comes a new adult cartoon about a family of aliens stranded on Earth. Alien patriarch, Korvo, voiced by Justin Roiland, is more disgruntled at being stuck on a “sub-par” planet. He’s joined by his carefree partner Terry (Thomas Middleditch) and two high-school aged youths, Yumulack (Sean Giambrone) and Jesse (Mary Mack), and a slug looking pseudo-pet called the pupa. Together they try to carve out life in middle America, dealing with HOA problems, school bullying, all while trying to fix their spaceship. “Solar Opposites” has the same tone as its predecessor with plenty of irreverent jokes and visual gags. Fans of “Futurama” and “Invader Zim” will find “Solar Opposites” a worthy addition to ridiculous adult animation.

“The Great”
Season 1

For fans of history and/or costume drama check out “The Great.” Starring Elle Fanning as Catherine the Great in a new series that is reminiscent of the 2019 Oscar-winner “The Favourite.” Humorous and delightfully frivolous, the series starts with Catherine’s journey from Germany as a young, naive girl all the way to Russia to marry the Czar. But the Russian court is unlike anything the young Catherine has ever known. Sexy, wild and sometimes downright bizarre, she not only grows up but grows up great.

Disney+

“Artemis Fowl”

This science fantasy adventure is based on an eight-book series by the same name. Artemis Fowl is a 12-year-old genius born into a long line of criminal masterminds. Artemis must navigate through an ancient, underground civilization inhabited by fairies to save his kidnapped father and find a coveted magical device. But these are not typical fairies; they are clever, advanced, and all powerful. Artemis must wage war with this civilization if he hopes to make it out alive.


Whiskey and Popcorn is a movie podcast by local film critics Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle. You can hear their full movie reviews on whiskeyandpopcorn.org.

Whiskey and Popcorn Reviews: Netflix Snapped up ‘The 40-Year-Old Version’ at Sundance 2020

Tuesday Mahrle and Kaely Monahan

—By Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle

Radha, a once-promising playwright, is facing the “Big 4-0” with little, in her mind, to show for it. Caught questioning her abilities as an artist and frustrated with being pigeon-holed as a black artist, she breaks away from it all to become a rapper.

The 40-Year-Old Version is by far the funniest film we saw at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Radha Blank appears in The 40-Year-Old Version by Radha Blank, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jeong Park.

Witty without being too on-the-nose, director, writer and lead actress, Radha Blank neatly captured the real struggles of creative fatigue and fears of aging that’s all too relatable. For a debut feature film, Blank delivers an authentic story about facing ourselves as we are now.

Watch out for this film on Netflix.  


Whiskey and Popcorn is a movie podcast by local film critics Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle. You can hear their full movie reviews on whiskeyandpopcorn.org.

Whiskey and Popcorn Reviews: What to Watch Before the Oscars

Tuesday Mahrle and Kaely Monahan

—By Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle

The Oscar nominations are out and with them come questions, confusion and snubs. For the second year in a row, no women were nominated for the Achievement in Directing — aka “best director” category. And while many film critics and industry watchers bemoan the fact that Greta Gerwig was left off the list, we on Whiskey and Popcorn are wondering why Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Olivia Wilde (Booksmart) and Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) were also ignored. But we have your back on which films to watch before the big night, Feb. 9.

Joker — Could this be the year a superhero genre film wins best picture? We’re not so sure. But with 11 nominations, Joker is an Academy favorite. Joaquin Phoenix gives a devastating performance as Batman’s nemesis. We’re putting our money on him for the Best Actor win.

(Keon-kyo (Yeo-jeong Jo) in Parasite. Courtesy of NEON and CJ Entertainment)

Parasite — One of our top three films of 2019. The Korean film is hilarious, dark, spicy and so worth watching again and again. Director Bong Joon-ho is known for his strong social commentaries and Parasite is no exception. But we were also mesmerized by the cinematography.

Jojo Rabbit — A WWII satire is nothing new, but director Taika Waititi’s take on a little boy who “wants to be part of a club” is both adorable and heartfelt. We recommend watching this film twice as the jokes will hit you first. On the second watch, you’ll appreciate the serious undertones and beautiful character development.

1917 — This is our favorite to win Best Picture. Two WWI soldiers battle their way across No Man’s to deliver a life-saving message to their comrades. What makes the film so spectacular is the seemingly single shot it was filmed in. If you see any film in theaters this month, make it 1917.


Whiskey and Popcorn is a movie podcast by local film critics Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle. You can hear their full movie reviews on whiskeyandpopcorn.org.

Whiskey and Popcorn Reviews… ‘1917’ Immerses You Into the Battlefield Unlike Any Other War Movie

Tuesday Mahrle and Kaely Monahan

—By Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle

(center) George MacKay as Schofield in “1917,” co-written and directed by Sam Mendes.

When it comes to the world wars, the Second World War seems to capture much of the imagination and romance of Hollywood. World War I not so much. And perhaps that’s due to there being a “less clear” enemy. There aren’t Nazis in WWI. But the First World War has plenty to offer when it comes to storytelling. Writer/director Sam Mendes proves this in his film 1917.

A truly immersive experience, 1917 follows two British soldiers as they set out on a ride-or-die mission across No-Man’s land. What makes 1917 truly spectacular is the one-shot technique, which makes the film feel like it’s all one continuous shot.

The film 1917 is Rated R. It opens Jan. 10.

George MacKay as Schofield in “1917,” the new epic from Oscar®-winning filmmaker Sam Mendes.

(Photos courtesy of Universal Studios)

Whiskey and Popcorn is a movie podcast by local film critics Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle. You can hear their full movie reviews on whiskeyandpopcorn.org.

Whiskey and Popcorn Reviews… Shia LaBeouf’s HONEY BOY is a Cathartic Journey for the Troubled Actor

Tuesday Mahrle and Kaely Monahan

Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

—By Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle

Shia LaBeouf explores his own childhood in the highly meta and cathartic film Honey Boy. In this film, the child star is 12-year-old Otis. His father is an ex-rodeo clown and convict who now acts as his guardian. We come to discover that Otis, and by extension LaBeouf, experiences intense trauma, resulting in the star coming to his lowest point.
Emotional, humorous and very intense, Honey Boy is one of the highlights of the year.

Listen to Whiskey and Popcorn’s full Honey Boy review online now.


Whiskey and Popcorn is a movie podcast by local film critics Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle. You can hear their full movie reviews on whiskeyandpopcorn.org.

Whiskey and Popcorn Reviews… Sensational! PARASITE is Why We Go See Movies

Tuesday Mahrle and Kaely Monahan

Courtesy of Neon

—By Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle

Darkly humorous with a biting edge, Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite is a masterpiece of cinematic storytelling. Greed, classism and horror are wrapped in a hysterical package that will leave you in stitches. The poor Kim family finds a way to easy street only to find out the high life is not what they expected. Make sure you don’t miss this movie.

We recommend pairing this film with your favorite soju-cocktail.

Parasite is Rated R and is now playing exclusively at Harkins Camelview.

And don’t forget to mark your calendars for the Scottsdale International Film Festival Nov. 1–10.

Listen to Whiskey and Popcorn’s full Parasite review online now.


Whiskey and Popcorn is a movie podcast by local film critics Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle. You can hear their full movie reviews on whiskeyandpopcorn.org.

Whiskey and Popcorn Reviews… ‘Downton Abbey’ Movie Keeps the Spirit of the Show

DOWNTON ABBEY

Michelle Dockery stars as Lady Mary Talbot and Matthew Goode as Henry Talbot in DOWNTON ABBEY, a Focus Features release. Credit: Jaap Buitendijk / Focus Features

Tuesday Mahrle and Kaely Monahan

—By Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle

Nearly four years after the final episode of “Downton Abbey” aired, we return to the home of the Crawley’s. Fans of the show will be delighted to know that the creator Julian Fellowes helmed the movie. It fits seamlessly into the Downton narrative.

For the film, the Crawley’s are faced with what the future of Downton will look like. Add to that a surprise visit by the king and queen. The old world clashes with the modern in an elegant and engaging story that is well worth watching.

We recommend pairing a vintage gin-based cocktail such as a Gin Ricky to get into the mood for this movie.

“Downton Abbey” is rated PG and is now playing.

Listen to Whiskey and Popcorn’s full “Downton Abbey” review online now.


Whiskey and Popcorn is a movie podcast by local film critics Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle. You can hear their full movie reviews on whiskeyandpopcorn.org.

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