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No better way to start the year… we’re talkin’ about MACGRUBER [explosions]!

Justin: Kpolly is obsessed with MacGruber.
Kpolly: “Obsessed” is a strong word… and that’s why I use it.

We manage to bring up MacGruber nearly every time we talk, but now there is a reason to have a whole episode about it. Thanks to Milwaukee Record you can see MacGruber once again on the big screen in Milwaukee. In partnership with the Avalon Theater in Bay View, Milwaukee Record hosts cult classic and classic comedies including MacGruber on January 23rd .

Read more and listen to the podcast episode below to hear all about the cult classic your Cinebuds are thrilled to share with you:

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Need a break from the craziness that is life? CatVideoFest is coming to Milwaukee

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catvideofest 2019

CatVideoFest is a compilation reel of the latest and best cat videos culled from countless hours of unique submissions and sourced animations, music videos, and, of course, classic internet powerhouses.

CatVideoFest is a joyous communal experience, only available in theaters, and raises money for cats in need through partnerships with local cat charities, animal welfare organizations, and shelters to best serve cats in the area.

This looks like it will make a PURRfect date night!

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Our favorite movies of the year

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Our favorite movies of 2018

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”

We don’t talk about Netflix movies very much on this podcast because we like to go to the theater. And we often underestimate them. But this Cohen Brothers film was too good not to mention. It’s an anthology of six short films that take place in 19th-century post-Civil War era during the settling of the Old West. It’s fun, funny and stylistically fantastic.

“Eighth Grade”

eighth grade review

We did a whole episode on “Eighth Grade.” It’s a (sometimes painfully) accurate story of coming-of-age in the digital age. We really have to give it to Bo Burnham on this one. For his directorial debut, it was spot on.

“Sorry to Bother You”

sorry to bother you review

We love a movie that is over-the-top and fantastical like nothing else you’ve seen before. That was “Sorry to Bother You.” We can’t wait for more from Boots Riley.


hereditary review

We thought horror movies had a moment in 2018. “Hereditary” was one of the ones that impressed (and terrified) us most. It was so good that we never want to see it again.

“You Were Never Really Here”

you were never really here review

Not many hitman movies kill off human lives while being thoughtful about human lives at the same time, but “You Were Never Really Here” did it beautifully and brutally.

“They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead”

We talked a ton about documentaries stepping it up this year. One we didn’t talk about however was “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead.” It’s another Netflix release. It’s directed by Morgan Neville of some of the other great docs of 2018, like “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” and we think it’s the epitome of documentary filmmaking so far. It’s about the life of the legendary director Orson Welles as he pins his Hollywood comeback hopes on the film “The Other Side of the Wind.” It’s a brilliant movie about making a movie about a movie and it tells us a lot about the brilliance of Orson Welles.


Nicolas Cage in Mandy

Mandy” is Nicolas Cage’s best, bloodiest and most beautiful film in over a decade. It’s both artsy and fartsy. And it’s one of our favorites of the year because, you know, Nic Cage (plus the cheddar goblin).

“Three Identical Strangers”

three identical strangers

Three Identical Strangers” has twists and turns and a wild narrative that all happens to be true. It’s another film that shows how great 2018 was for documentaries.


This was a huge hit at the Milwaukee Film Festival. Based on a Haruki Murakami short story, “Burning” is a slowburn drama, enigmatic mystery and just downright beautiful.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

The Cinebuds’ holiday movie hot takes

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The Cinebuds’ favorite holiday movies

“Scrooged” (1988)

“Christmas Carol”

What’s better than a ghost story during the most wonderful time of the year? Christmas Carol is our favorite Christmas story. There are so many different movie versions and they’re all great, especially “Scrooged.” It’s Bill Murray at his most Bill Murray. Miles Davis is in it. And it’s genuinely hilarious.

The Muppet Christmas Carol is pretty good too.

1966’s “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”

The illustrated TV special version of the Grinch is golden. The 2000s Jim Carey version is funny and has also a become a classic. But 2018’s “The Grinch” was terrible. We like to just stick to the original—it’s a half hour long and it’s perfect from the music to the narration.

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”

Rewatchability is the most important part of a holiday movie. This one has it. The jokes stand up, the plot moves, the characters are funny and it’s just a great average joe story.

“A Christmas Story”

This is another one that never gets old. It’s got so much heart, Christmas magic and humor. It’s nostalgic, but the quality of this movie makes it worth much more than that.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas”

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” is another that is short, but so so sweet. This one is all about the true meaning of Christmas. And the soundtrack is a jazz masterpiece.

Runners up for our favorites (with varying degrees of quality and holiday-ness) are: “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Eight Crazy Nights,” “Arthur Christmas,” “Love Actually” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

‘Boy Erased’ is cruel, but true—and that’s why you should see it

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“Boy Erased” review

The plot: Jared, the son of a small-town Baptist pastor must overcome the fallout after being outed as gay to his parents. His father and mother struggle to reconcile their love for their son with their beliefs. Fearing a loss of family, friends and community, he is pressured into attending a conversion therapy program. While there, Jared comes into conflict with its leader and begins his journey to finding his own voice and accepting his true self.

For us, this movie hit close to home and very far away from home at the same time. That’s what we loved about it.

Many of us (not just in the South) can relate to growing up in a town that is small in size…and small in mind. And to an extent, we think that almost everyone can relate to being 18 years old, struggling to find your identity while everyone is simultaneously trying to define you, telling you what to do and who you should be. Everyone goes through that journey, but not everyone goes through it as the gay son of a Baptist preacher. Even so, the film remains deeply relatable and treats the main character’s experience with care. It had us empathizing with him the whole way, even though it was very different than our personal lives—which we think is the exact purpose of stories like this.

At points the story is cruel and solemn, but it’s real. You might feel the temptation to avert your eyes at certain scenes, but you can’t, because this is something that real kids today live through.

With recent, more triumphing movies like “The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” “Love, Simon” or even “Call Me By Your Name,” it can be hard to remember that not all coming out stories end with acceptance or reconciliation, even in 2018.

“Boy Erased” is the kind of story that needs to keep being told until we live in a world where everyone is accepted for who they are.

For more on “Boy Erased,” listen to the full podcast episode above. Watch the trailer below and see the movie in theaters now. And if you like this movie and want to hear more about the story, check out the podcast, “UnErased.”

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Milwaukee-made virtual reality film, ‘Ashe ’68’ is going to the 2018 Sundance Film Festival

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ashe '68, sundance

Viewers at the Ashe ’68 VR Experience space at the 2018 US Open. Credit: REXPIX MEDIA

Created by Milwaukee’s Custom Reality Studios and directed by Brad Lichtenstein, “Ashe 68′ Virtual Reality Experience” brings viewers into the intimate moments right before Arthur Ashe’s historic 1968 US Open win, weaving together 360 degree video re-creations, archival material and evocative, never-before-seen 360 degree stop-motion sand animation to tell the story.  “Ashe ’68” was first previewed at this year’s U.S. Open. Later, Sports Illustrated hosted the short film on their site.

Also check out our story on Milwaukee’s Custom Reality Studios featuring one of the collaborators on “Ashe ’68,” Maddy Power. You can view the  short film below in 360, but we recommend you try it with a virtual reality headset.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

‘Widows’ is the realistic heist drama that we’ve been waiting for

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“Widows” review

widows viola davis

The plot: A police shootout leaves four thieves dead during an explosive armed robbery attempt in Chicago. Their widows—Veronica, Linda, Alice and Belle—have nothing in common except a debt left behind by their spouses’ criminal activities. Hoping to forge a future on their own terms, Veronica joins forces with the other three women to pull off a heist that her husband was planning.

We had high expectations for both the lead actress, Viola Davis and the director, Steve McQueen. We adore Viola and as always, she brought her usual brilliance, boldness and strength to the role. Steve McQueen, however, didn’t exactly meet our expectations, but they might have been unrealistic.

Perhaps it was unfair, but we expected something more like “12 Years a Slave.” “Widows” has much less of the style that we know McQueen for, but is still an artfully crafted story where so many moving parts of the plot come together and transition in great synchronicity on screen.

There’s one scene in particular where we really have to hand it to him—it’s a scene of a politician driving in his car where the camera isn’t inside the car, but outside. As he’s talking and driving through neighborhoods, you see the low income district he represents turn into a much wealthier area, which is where he actually lives.

Scenes like that is what we love about McQueen.

The movie was also very well written. McQueen worked with Gillian Flynn, author of “Gone Girl” for the script. And in true Gillian Flynn fashion, there were plenty of plot twists and surprises.

The rest of the cast was also fantastic. It starred Michelle Rodriguez, Cynthia Erivo, Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson, Brian Tyree Henry and so many more. Our only complaint about this cast is that we wish we could have seen all of their characters on screen for longer, but we know that’s unrealistic—there’s only so much time in a movie.

Speaking of things that are realistic, “Widows” was, even though most heist movies aren’t. We loved that this film was grounded in rules of real life and what would really happen if someone tried to pull this off. It is nothing like the rest of the action genre that borders on fantasy. This is the real heist movie we’ve been waiting for.

Overall, we’re glad we saw this movie. We think you will be too. “Widows” is now playing in Milwaukee.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

‘Give Me Liberty,’ a born and bred Milwaukee film, is going to Sundance 2019

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Give Me Liberty, Milwaukee film, Sundance

Directed by Kirill Mikhanovsky and written by Alice Austen, “Give Me Liberty” is a dark comedy that is set in Milwaukee. When a riot breaks out in America’s most segregated city, medical transport driver Vic is torn between his promise to get a group of elderly Russians to a funeral and his desire to help Tracy, a young black woman with ALS.

The film features locations from all over the city and local musicians like Lorde Fredd33.

Mikhanovsky, the director, says the team fought hard to represent Milwaukee in the film.

“We’ve been to hell and back with it and not once, sticking to our guns and sticking with Milwaukee,” he says. “And, finally, much blood sweat and tears later, we are doing what we’d set out to do, i.e. putting Milwaukee on the cinematic map—a feature narrative film generated in and made by Milwaukee. 99 percent of the cast is local and non-actors.”

“Give Me Liberty” was one of the recipients of the Brico Forward Fund in 2016 and it was recognized by Film Independent in 2015. You can learn more about the film and its creators on their website.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ doesn’t ‘Break Free’ from convention like Queen did

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“Bohemian Rhapsody” Review

bohemian rhapsody trailer

This movie did what we think it was trying to do—trigger nostalgia. If you’re a hardcore fan, it will get you excited about Queen all over again. And if you’re just a casual Queen listener, it’ll make you keep going—”Oh yeah, they did that song too!”

It’s a great foot-stomping celebration of Queen that will make you realize (again or for the first time) just how unstoppable the band was.

But for a group as unconventional and ground-breaking as Queen was, the movie failed to “Break Free” from convention.

It follows what’s become a pretty typical biopic formula—They start small, they get the big break, they have some fun, deal with fame (and often drugs and alcohol), they fight, it gets emotional and it all swells to a glorious end.

It makes us wonder how much was exaggerated, how much was downplayed, how much we actually learned about Queen and how much of that was even factual.

We went into the theater thinking that we didn’t really know a lot about Freddie Mercury. And we left still wanting to know a lot more about him, which could be a good or a bad thing.

But if we learned anything at all about Freddie Mercury in this movie, it was that he was a great performer. The last 20 minutes of the movie basically become a great concert film that made us leave inspired.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is now showing in Milwaukee.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

2018 ‘Suspiria’ is a completely different movie than 1977 ‘Suspiria’

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“Suspiria” review

We don’t usually like remakes at.all. So we went in with low expectations and came out with not only a love for Luca Guadagnino’s 2018 “Suspiria,” but a greater love for Dario Argento’s original 1977 horror masterpiece. And we didn’t think that was possible.

Like the original movie, this one is about a young American woman who arrives in 1970s Berlin to audition for the world-renowned Helena Markos Dance Co. which holds sinister secrets, witches and gory surprises.

The original “Suspiria,” while being an iconic art house horror movie with an amazing dark aesthetic and groundbreaking horror visuals, lacks in a few areas—mainly, the pretty basic English script and a pretty hard to follow plot. That said, we wouldn’t really change a thing about the original.

The reason the 2018 version of this worked for us is that they weren’t really trying to “remake” the 1977 movie. It felt like they paid plenty of tasteful homage, took the bones of the plot, but completely developed a new movie.

The script and the plot seemed more fleshed out, though it still isn’t trying to reexplain the original. Rather, it asks to exist on its own while knowing where it came from.

The visuals and the story are all derived from “Suspiria,” but it is a completely different movie at the same time. That’s why we liked it.

Plus, it really turned it up several notches in every direction—especially on the horror.

The original was good at shocking you with a flash of horrible images, but the new movie is unrelenting with its imaginative body horror.

For some slightly more spolier-y takes and to hear us talk about our other favorite art house horror movies, listen to the full conversation above in the podcast episode.

“Suspiria” is now playing in theaters.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee