May 16, 2024, on Planet 93.9 with Dave and Darren — “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes”



Mike Schulz has only one full-fledged film to discuss with Dave Levora and Darren Pitra: Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, directed by Wes Fall and starring Freya Allan, Kevin Durand, Peter Macon, and William H Macy. Compared to the bravura direction of Matt Reeves (2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes), Fall’s is workmanlike — that is to say, competently executed. Competence, particularly in this era, isn’t anything to disesteem outright. Nonetheless, one returns to the words of the Twentieth Century dramatic critic John Mason Brown: “The more one has seen of the good, the more one asks for the better.” If you can tell a story well, then good on ya; but if you can make that story stick in peoples’ heads for decades to come. . .

Continue reading May 16, 2024, on Planet 93.9 with Dave and Darren — “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes”


May 9, 2024 on Planet 93.9 with Dave and Darren — “The Fall Guy,” “Tarot,” “The Idea of You,” and “Unfrosted”



Mike Schulz, Dave Levora, and Darren Pitra continue a prior discussion of their mutual fondness for Marcia Strassman, of Welcome Back, Kotter and MASH fame,

  • The Fall Guy, directed by David Leitch and starring Ryan Gosling, Emily Blunt, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Hannah Waddingham, Teresa Palmer, Stephanie Hsu, and Winston Duke. An adaptation/update of the Lee Majors TV series of the Eighties, the film leans into its stunt-heavy/CGI-minimum action, but that’s about as much as the film has to offer. If you go looking for a story, you will hurt your brain.
  • Tarot, directed by Spenser Cohen and Anna Halberg (in their directorial début) and starring Harriet Slater, Adain Bradley, Avantika Vandanapu, Wolfgang Novogratz, Humberly González, Larsen Thompson, and Jacob Batalon. “Tarot-ble” is Schulz’s decree. Moving on. . .
  • The Idea of You, directed by Michael Showalter (friend of the show!) and starring Anne Hathaway, Nicholas Galitzine, and Ella Rubin, the film flips the usual script of the May-December romances, where Hathaway is the older, more experienced partner and Galitzine the younger, hormone-addled participant, and points out the numerous ways and prevailing attitudes to which such a romance would fall prey to prevailing attitudes. We should never forget the ineffable qualities that Hathaway brings with her to her films, particularly as she’s still around and only getting better in her profession.
  • Unfrosted, directed by Jerry Seinfeld and starring Seinfeld, Melissa McCarthy, Jim Gaffigan, Max Greenfield, Hugh Grant, and Amy Schumer. Christophe Beck, the film is streaming on Netflix — which sounds like a good thing, given Schulz’s disdain for it: “It’s been years since I’ve seen something that completely moronic.” Would you have wanted to pay to see that? Okay, it’s on Netflix, so you’re already paying for it — but you have the option to bail on a given film whenever it starts to wear out its welcome. Movie theaters don’t allow you that luxury! Now, this was a judgement hard come by for Schulz, who sounds like he really wanted to appreciate a new work by Seinfeld. The fact that Unfrosted is a satire of a burgeoning genre of film, which we might call “The Origin of That Thing,” seems to offer promise, as Seinfeld’s timing is spot-on. So does his cast, which is front-loaded with comic talent (Schumer excepted). Unfortunately, Unfrosted treats its talent with all the wit and grace of the Battle of Verdun. As director, Seinfeld sets his actors up just so he can mow them down with a Maxim gun full of bad material. One has to believe that he did this to them on purpose, because who would otherwise be so foolish as to lead actors, flush in their prime of their lives, into such an abattoir unwittingly? Given Seinfeld’s recent remarks about the deleterious effect the political Left has had on modern comedy — an argument that was tired and shagged-out when people were calling woke-ist sentiment “political correctness” — such crimes against humanity seem well within his abilities. One might speculate further that Seinfeld realized what a piece of crap he was offering people, and he thought perhaps he might distract them beforehand with his idiotic old-man remarks about how comedy used to make people laugh back in his day, and allow Unfrosted to squeak on through his résumé like a dull fart. One might speculate thusly — if only Unfrosted were an event that just happened. You know, like Tunguska. But no: Human agency was definitely what felled the tall timber within this film. Unlike Michael Richards’s Laugh Factory spazz-out, Seinfeld cannot plead temporary insanity with any plausibility.

As for coming attractions, there is but one:

  • Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, directed by Wes Fall and starring Freya Allan, Kevin Durand, Peter Macon, and William H Macy. Not a reboot, thank Christ.

“The Fall Guy,” “The Idea of You,” “Tarot,” and “Unfrosted”


May 2, 2024 on Planet 93.9 with Dave and Darren — “Challengers,” “Unsung Hero,” and “Boy Kills World”



Mike Schulz, Dave Levora, and Darren Pitra just can’t seem to get enough of each other. They discuss the habit of recent films to distinguish films as pre- and post-COVID pandemic and the seeming return of sex to the cinema, sans Purex. And not a moment too soon, apparently.

The films Schulz caught are:

Continue reading May 2, 2024 on Planet 93.9 with Dave and Darren — “Challengers,” “Unsung Hero,” and “Boy Kills World”


April 25, 2024, on Planet 93.9 with Dave and Darren — “Abigail,” “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare,” and “Sasquatch Sunset”



Mike Schulz, Dave Levora, and Darren Pitra dealt with some microphone-monkeying that had gone on before Levora and Pitra climbed aboard and got on with it. They discuss the family Shyamalan, with M Night’s daughter Ishana Night Shyamalan’s forthcoming directorial début The Watchers. Will Ishana be hobbled by the defects of her familial predecessor, Manoj Nelliyattu? God, let’s hope not.

And here, now, the reviews.

Continue reading April 25, 2024, on Planet 93.9 with Dave and Darren — “Abigail,” “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare,” and “Sasquatch Sunset”


April 18, 2024, on Planet 93.9 with Dave and Darren — “Civil War,” “Arcadian,” “Vanya,” and “Hundreds of Beavers”



Mike Schulz, Dave Levora, and Darren Pitra chit the film chat for a tight fifteen. Schulz liked what he saw this week, which disappointed Levora, who finds Schulz to be most fun when he’s attacking some form of abominable tripe. No luck this week, Dave.

The films under discussion:

Continue reading April 18, 2024, on Planet 93.9 with Dave and Darren — “Civil War,” “Arcadian,” “Vanya,” and “Hundreds of Beavers”


April 11, 2024, on Planet 93.9 with Dave and Darren — “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire,” “In the Land of Saints and Sinners,” “Ripley,” “The New Omen,” “Monkey Man,” “Wicked Little Letters,” and “Problemista”



Mike Schulz has overcome last week’s problem (car died, again) to make it into studio to jaw with Dave Levora and Darren Pitra about stuff cinematic. Schulz credits the fine folk at Uber for making the film-going experience sans automobile an enjoyable one, even when the films proved underwhelming or even anti-whelming.

These are the films that Schulz has reviewed:

Continue reading April 11, 2024, on Planet 93.9 with Dave and Darren — “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire,” “In the Land of Saints and Sinners,” “Ripley,” “The New Omen,” “Monkey Man,” “Wicked Little Letters,” and “Problemista”


March 28, 2024 on Planet 93.9 with Dave and Darren — “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire,” “Road House,” “Shirley,” “Immaculate,” and “Late Night with the Devil”



Mike Schulz, Dave Levora, and Darren Pitra take an extended stroll down Memory Lane with the films from 1989. Road House wasn’t the only film released that year, you know. That’s what Wikipedia tells us, anyway.

To the movies, ladies and gentlemen!

Continue reading March 28, 2024 on Planet 93.9 with Dave and Darren — “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire,” “Road House,” “Shirley,” “Immaculate,” and “Late Night with the Devil”


March 21, 2024 on Planet 93.9 with Dave and Darren — “Arthur the King,” “Love Lies Bleeding,” “One Life,” “The American Society of Magical Negroes,” and “Snack Shack”



Mike Schulz was over the moon with Dave Levora and Darren Pitra about how many films he was able to watch and review (five) and still visit his mother in Chicago. Good job, homie.

Here, now, the reviews:

Continue reading March 21, 2024 on Planet 93.9 with Dave and Darren — “Arthur the King,” “Love Lies Bleeding,” “One Life,” “The American Society of Magical Negroes,” and “Snack Shack”


March 14, 2024 on Planet 93.9 with Dave and Darren — “Imaginary,” “Cabrini,” “Kung Fu Panda 4,” and “20 Days in Mariupol”



Mike Schulz, Dave Levora, and Darren Pitra sound alarmed about the possibility of another mic having fritzed out, leaving Pitra to shout out his contributions from the bleachers. Not this time, baby! Schulz was happy with the Oscar production and the films that won (mostly). Ryan Gosling’s “Ken” song? Who could resist that? And he was happy with his rate of Oscar predictions, having missed only five of them, having tied for last year.

Here, now, the movies:

Continue reading March 14, 2024 on Planet 93.9 with Dave and Darren — “Imaginary,” “Cabrini,” “Kung Fu Panda 4,” and “20 Days in Mariupol”


More Citizen Intelligence, Less Artificial Intelligence Needed: Todd McGreevy & AD in the Morning on WQUD Discuss the March Edition of River Cities’ Reader



River Cities’ Reader publisher Todd McGreevy talks with WQUD GM Aaron Dail and Pat Jones, Sancho Panza to Dail’s Don Quixote, re recent highlights, both online and within Issue N° 1019. Joining the two for half of the discussion is Li Arellano, the former mayor of Dixon, Illinois, and one of three Republicans vying for the open 37th District state Senate seat at present. (The other candidates are Chris Bishop, former Dixon teacher and a member of the Dixon City Council, and Tim Yager, a member of both the Henry County Board and the Henry County Farm Bureau.) McGreevy solicits Arellano’s opinion re the recent state efforts to push Donald Trump off their ballots — since decided by the Supreme Court to be the provenance of Congress, not the states — and both question the legality of such efforts, given that (to date) Trump hasn’t been convicted of any federal offense that would mandate such pre-emptive actions.

Continue reading More Citizen Intelligence, Less Artificial Intelligence Needed: Todd McGreevy & AD in the Morning on WQUD Discuss the March Edition of River Cities’ Reader