‘Nomadland’ is the kind of movie that spurs conversation

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“Nomadland” is the film based on the non-fiction book “Nomadland” by Jessica Bruder. The movie follows Fern, played by Frances McDormand. She lost everything in the Great Recession after the mine in her town of Empire, Nevada closed down and took the whole city with it. “Nomadland” catches Fern navigating the life that she chooses after all of this, one as a nomad. 

Playing with the fictional aspects of the movie and the non-fiction aspects of the book, Frances McDormand and David Strathairn are the only two actors. The film depicts everyone else as they are and on location in seven states over the course of four months. 

“Nomadland”

The plot is loose and ambling and plays like a documentary. It’s been immediately acclaimed across the board, getting lots of nominations and ending at the top of a lot of year end lists. 

We had more to say than we even knew. I almost cut us off a couple times to keep moving along but Kpolly said that we should keep going if we had more to say, and I think this is one of the truest conversations we had to date. “Nomadland” is that kind of movie. Come for the take, stay for the conversation. 

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‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ hits its mark

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We’re 88Nine’s Justin Barney and Milwaukee Film’s Kpolly. We’re buds, we like cinema — we’re Cinebuds.

“Judas and the Black Messiah” is the new film on HBO about the assassination of Fred Hampton at the hands of the FBI. 

Usually, for events that are moments in time, with plenty of real life footage and people who are still around to talk about it, I think, “Why wasn’t this a documentary?” Movies tend to over dramatize the events and paint of picture of truth that isn’t exactly quite truth. BUT, I think this one passes the bar. It contextualizes the movement of the Black Panther Party in Chicago at the time. Performances by Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield are extraordinary. And maybe, more than anything, it is the right movie at the right moment. Kpolly offers some great insight into that. 

For a movie where you know exactly what is going to happen from the title of the movie, when it happens you’re still shocked and appalled. It hit the mark.

In the podcast Kpolly offers more insight into other movies you might like to accompany it and we get way into terrible/wonderful 1980s sci-fi like “Hell Comes to Frogtown” and “Solarbabies” and Kpolly posits a theory on why he loves them so much.

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Viola Davis sparkles in ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

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We’re 88Nine’s Justin Barney and Milwaukee Film’s Kpolly. We’re buds, we like cinema — we’re Cinebuds.

On this week’s episode, we’re discussing Netflix’s acclaimed film “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which is likely to attract some Oscar nominations. One thing you’ll want to know about it is that it’s based on a play, and the staging definitely pays homage to those origins.

On the surface, the play (and the film) is about a day in the life of Ma Rainey, who is the mother of blues music. But underneath that, there’s a lot of conversations about the Black experience. The script includes lots of long, philosophical conversations between members of her band.

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Kpolly absolutely loved the movie, and says it should win all the awards this year (even Best Pickup Truck, if it’s eligible). But if you’re not prepared for its theatrical staging, you might have a hard time adjusting. And in truth I didn’t think that all the acting was uniformly fantastic in this. Some of the beats that were supposed to come through ended up falling flat.

Hear Kpolly and I have a spirited argument about it on this week’s episode.

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‘The Little Things’ offers so many reasons to hate it

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We’re 88Nine’s Justin Barney and Milwaukee Film’s Kpolly. We’re buds, we like cinema — we’re Cinebuds.

“The Little Things” is a new crime drama featuring Denzel Washington playing the old veteran who’s had a tough and mysterious past, playing second fiddle to young hot shot, and least likable character in the history of film, Rami Malek. Together, but also not together, they butt heads, and kind of come together to take down the perpetually greasy, vacant eyed, never-been-anyone-who-looks-more-like-a-serial-killer Jared Leto. 

The Little Things | Warner Bros.

Look, I suggested this movie. So this one’s on me. It had the star power and I had actually heard a positive review. But half way though I felt bad that I made Kpolly watch this whole movie. We both hated it, but, it was so hateable that we actually hated it for different reasons. That’s how much there was to not like about this movie. 

If you have seen this, listen to the podcast to revel in the camaraderie of having watched a terrible movie, and if you haven’t, listen and maybe the bar will be so low that you actually think it’s not that bad.

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Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “By Every Measure,” a six-part examination of systemic racism in Milwaukee.

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How great is the ‘Blade’ trilogy?

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We’re 88Nine’s Justin Barney and Milwaukee Film’s Kpolly. We’re buds, we like cinema — we’re Cinebuds.

Last week I got HBO Max. Well, I should say, my buddy Jon gave me his log in. Almost immediately I saw that they had “Blade.” “Blade” and the “Blade” trilogy is a constant bit with Kpolly. It’s his all time favorite trilogy and he talks about it constantly. I, on the other hand, had never seen, or really know anything about “Blade.” So I watched the first movie.

Let’s go

I was confused. Why does Blade talk like that? Why did they cast Kris Kristofferson in this role? But I was also impressed. Blade is legit the coolest looking person to ever look cool on the planet. And the casting is incredibly inclusive and ahead of its time. I knew right after watching that I would have to give Kristopher the only thing he has ever wanted in the two years that we have done this podcast together: an entire episode about the “Blade” trilogy.  

So here it is.

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Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “By Every Measure,” a six-part examination of systemic racism in Milwaukee.

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‘Knives Out’ fans will find much to enjoy in ‘The Weasels’ Tale’

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We’re 88Nine’s Justin Barney and Milwaukee Film’s Kpolly. We’re buds, we like cinema — we’re Cinebuds.

Kpolly here. This week on Cinebuds we are discussing the new film from Oscar-winner Juan Jose Campanella, “The Weasels’ Tale.” Campanella, a staple of Argentine cinema, won an Oscar in 2010 for his film “The Secret in Their Eyes.” 

It’s the story of an aging starlet who is saddled with her old director and writer in a big (and amazing house) as she pines for her previous life and the days before they all hated each other. Their retirement is upset as two young real estate agents stumble upon their grounds and a journey of deceit and mayhem ensues.  

“The Weasels’ Tale” | Outsider Pictures

Comparisons to the popular “Knives Out” are understandable. The differences are a slightly darker vibe and that it’s less of a whodunnit and more of a who’sgonnadunnit…  

We also talk — for longer than I think we intended — about Justin’s first watching of “Blade.”  To NO ONE’S surprise, this conversation is far from over.

Don’t forget to like, subscribe, share our podcast.  Every time someone subscribes an angel gets their wings.

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Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “By Every Measure,” a six-part examination of systemic racism in Milwaukee.

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Steve McQueen’s ‘Small Axe’ series is the director at his most experimental and beautiful

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We’re 88Nine’s Justin Barney and Milwaukee Film’s Kpolly. We’re buds, we like cinema — we’re Cinebuds.

Director Steve McQueen has released a series called “Small Axe.” Is it a TV series? He says that it is, even though the Chicago Tribune, Consequence of Sound, and Vulture, among others, had individual episodes listed as their Best Film of the Year on their End-Of-Year lists. I think the point is that it doesn’t matter. The five episode collection by Steve McQueen is stunning no matter its label. 

“Small Axe: Lovers Rock” | Photo courtesy Amazon Studio

The series centers around the community of West Indian immigrants in England in the ’70s and early ‘80s. Each episode captures different aspects of, what come together as, systemic racism. All based on true events, McQueen begin in archival footage to create the full picture. It’s one that he lived. McQueen grew up the son of British immigrants from Grenada and Trinidad. He witnessed the police brutality, the faulty education system, and violent oppression himself. But, it is not heavy. Possibly the greatest episode in the series is the second film, “Lovers Rock.” The entire episode is a fly-on-the-wall observance of a house party where beautifully clad attendees dance to ‘70s Jamacian dub in a tiny flat. There is almost no narrative at all, just the beautiful observation of a happening time. It’s McQueen at his most experimental and possibly most beautiful. 

In addition to “Small Axe” we talk about our favorite segment, “What else are we watching?” which also sidebars into a discussion on some takes on Harry Potter, the HBO series “Barry” and Kpolly embracing his own sloth.

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Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “By Every Measure,” a six-part examination of systemic racism in Milwaukee.

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Pixar successfully tackles big questions with ‘Soul’

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We’re 88Nine’s Justin Barney and Milwaukee Film’s Kpolly. We’re buds, we like cinema — we’re Cinebuds.

In 2015 Pixar did its deepest form of naval gazing with the revelatory “Inside Out.” Writer and director Pete Doctor carefully and successfully handled big questions of personal development in a way that was fun, thoughtful, and entertaining. Could he do it again? “Soul” is close to a companion piece of “Inside Out.” It is out to ask some big questions about each person’s purpose in life. It’s a large task that incorporates a struggling jazz musician, a therapy cat Tina Fey dropping legit philosophical theory in a barbershop, psychedelics, and a lot of beautiful scenes of an animated New York. 

“Soul” | Courtesy of Pixar

In addition to “Soul,” we do a big ol’ post holiday catch up. Kpolly is a little punch drunk on a joke that I didn’t get at first, but then come around to, I am astonished that he hadn’t watched “The Sound of Metal” yet, and Kpolly gets into horror movies two months after Halloween. Hear us talk about all that on this week’s episode below.

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Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “By Every Measure,” a six-part examination of systemic racism in Milwaukee.

Support from our community makes stories like the one you just read possible. Make a gift to support the team behind the programming you use and enjoy!

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Celebrating and lamenting the worst movies of 2020

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We’re 88Nine’s Justin Barney and Milwaukee Film’s Kpolly. We’re buds, we like cinema — we’re Cinebuds.

Kpolly here. Last week the Cinebuds talked about their favorite films of the year. Well, it’s time to turn down the lights a little bit and get into the Worst Films. Don’t worry, we’re not getting too negative this week. It’s more of a celebration of bad films. As Mrs. Garrett says, “You take the good… You take the bad… You take them both, and then you have… the facts of life.”

Oh Mrs. Garret. The sage of ’80s television. (What’s our demographic?  Who’s going to get this reference?)

Mank is the worst part of “Mank” | Courtesy Netflix

Inspired by the sassiest of awards shows, The Razzies, which celebrate the worst films and performances of the year, we are digging into those films that didn’t do it for us. And yes, we WILL be talking about the feline film fantasy, “CATS,” once again. I know it was last year! But it’s still relevant!

We’re going to sneak in some chat about some good movies we’ve seen recently too. “You take them both… and then you have… the facts of life.”  Mrs. G? We need you now more than ever.

Enjoy!

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Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “By Every Measure,” a six-part examination of systemic racism in Milwaukee.

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Cinebuds share their favorite movies of 2020

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We’re 88Nine’s Justin Barney and Milwaukee Film’s Kpolly. We’re buds, we like cinema — we’re Cinebuds.

Yeah, it’s been a weird year for movies. We started normal, in theaters, then they came screaming to a halt, then for a ton of money on demand, and now kind of a hybrid of online rental and going straight to a streaming service for free. Usually our lists would consist of mostly movies that had come out in the past month or two, front loading for Oscar contention, maybe a couple sleepers from early in the year, but a lot of critical consensus. This year it feels like we hardly even watched the same movies. Yet, a lot of GREAT movies have been released in 2020. One pattern that we noticed was that there were a lot of really high quality documentaries that were released. Most of the blockbusters go shelved, but docs are kind of on their own stream of releases, and they came in strong this year. 

So, let’s take a look at our Top 10 Movies of 2020.

“Mucho Mucho Amor”

Kpolly’s Top 10 of 2020

10. Shirley

9. The Photograph

8. In My Blood It Runs

7. The Twentieth Century

6. So Late So Soon

5. Dark City Beneath the Beat

4. Mucho Mucho Amor 

3. ???

2. ???

1.???

Justin’s Top 10 of 2020

“Palm Springs”

10. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (lolol had to have a weird comfort one for a weird year. Available on Netflix)

9. Time (Amazon Prime)

8. Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix)

7. Mucho Much Amor (Netflix)

6. Oliver Sacks: His Own Life

5. All In: The Fight For Democracy (Hulu)

4. Palm Springs (Hulu)

3. ???

2.???

1.???

We did actually finish our lists, but you will have to listen to the podcast to figure them out.  

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Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “By Every Measure,” a six-part examination of systemic racism in Milwaukee.

Support from our community makes stories like the one you just read possible. Make a gift to support the team behind the programming you use and enjoy!

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