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:

  • Challengers, a romantic sports film directed by Luca Guadagnino and starring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, Mike Faist, Darnell Appling, AJ Lister, and Nada Despotovich. “Endless fun” was Schulz’s ruling. “Sweaty and horny like no one’s business.” In the hands of Luca Guadagnino? Yeah — we’re there. Don’t take your mother.
  • Unsung Hero, a Christian drama, with a tinge of autobiography, directed by Richard Ramsey and Joel Smallbone and starring Smallbone, Daisy Betts, Kirrilee Berger, Jonathan Jackson, Lucas Black, Candace Cameron Bure, Diesel La Torraca, and JJ Pantano. “Better than the [normal spate of faith films],” says Schulz. It helps that the protagonists are relatable as flawed human beings and not religious robots who always know in which direction True North leads them. Schulz caught it on a double bill with Challengers — thank heavens for the break between films!
  • Boy Kills World, a 2023 action comedy-thriller film directed by Moritz Mohr and starring Bill Skarsgård, Jessica Rothe, Michelle Dockery, Famke Janssen, Sharlto Copley, Brett Gelman, Isaiah Mustafa, Andrew Koji, and the voice of H Jon Benjamin. Skarsgård plays a deaf-mute, known only as Boy, who’s hellbent on revenge (family, execution); Benjamin’s voice provides color-commentary to Skarsgård’s frenzy. In spite of badly-depicted action scenes, Boy Kills World is much better than one might have expected from such an outing.

Upcoming films include:

  • 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. A cinematic remake of the Eighties Lee Majors TV series The Fall Guy, the previews promise a level of excitement that one would not have sussed if one only had the press description to go by. Otherwise? You had us at Gosling and Blunt.
  • 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. Is this a plot by Big Tarot to sell more cards? The cards cannot tell us what’s coming, so — prepare.
  • We’re also bearing witness to the re-release of the sextet of Star Wars films — the original trilogy plus the dispiriting prequels — plus the best of the bunch, Spaceballs, playing at The Last Picture House, 4 May. Spaceballs is already sold out, so you’ll probably want to hang out in the new rooftop bar that’s opening up the same day.

“Challengers,” “Unsung Hero,” and “Boy Kills World”