Hosts: An Ever-Rotating Lineup of OOU.Net’s Unusual Suspects
That’s right, your favorite geek conglomerate website is now doing audio movie reviews! The cast of reviewers is subject to change even movie to movie, we have a whole rogues gallery of cinema outlaws, but one thing you can always count on is that these funny and insightful film reviews will always be, in some way, Highly Suspect.
La La Land
It’s the all-singing, all-dancing episode of Highly Suspect Reviews where Chris, Kyle, Mike, Beau, and Frank deliver the goods in a series of high-energy, old-school, Hollywood-style musical numbers. Oh wait, sorry the video didn’t record for some reason. Too bad, you shoulda seen Chris tapping the night away. Impressive. Well, I guess you’ll just have to settle for our plain old audio review of La La Land, the third film from Damien Chazelle (Whiplash). Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone fall in love (gradually) in modern day Los Angeles but as illustrated by classic Hollywood musical numbers. But, as their needs and circumstances change, so does the style of the film.
Will Smith is sad. Yes, again. This time it’s because his 6 year old daughter died. It’s been two years and he’s letting his advertising business sink because he can’t stop obsessing and being angry. Angry enough to write letters to abstract ideas like Time, Death, and Love. “Piss off, Love, you suck”. That kind of thing. Ok, maybe a bit more eloquent than that. Unfortunately, his close friends and business partners (Ed Norton, Kate Winslet, and Michael Pena) are panicking, because if he won’t engage at all, he won’t sign the papers that could save everyone’s jobs and the business. So, they hire three actors (Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley, and Jacob Latimore) to pretend to be these abstract ideas to Smith to break him out of his funk. What good friends <sarcasm>.
Office Christmas Party
Jason Bateman and TJ Miller run the Chicago branch of a tech firm that isn’t exactly the tightest ship in the fleet. When TJ’s sister (Jennifer Aniston) drops in to cut over half the staff, cancel all bonuses, and cancel the yearly Christmas party, they decide the only way to save their branch is to impress Courtney B Vance, who has been shopping around a very expensive contract. And guess what they decide the best way to do that is? Boom! Giant-ass Xmas party.
Jessica Chastain plays the titular Miss Sloan, a power-broker lobbyist that eats other lobbyists for breakfast. She’s feared for her prodigious skills and lack of a moral compass even within her own company. Which is why they’re honestly surprised when she refuses to cooperate with a plan to help the NRA (or the film’s equivalent of it) gain traction with female voters and instead leaves the company to go work for Mark Strong and his little group fighting the gun lobby to help push a bill through for tighter controls on sales.
Manchester By the Sea
Casey Affleck plays Lee Chandler. He lives in Boston by himself in a crappy basement apartment, works as an on-call repairman for various apartment buildings, and seems to be very sad. Like, saddy sad. The saddiest sad that ever sadded. But why? That’s the question that Manchester by the Sea explores as he is called back to the titular town to deal with the sudden death of his brother and the unexpected responsibility his brother wanted him to take for being the caregiver of his teenaged son.
Rules Don’t Apply
Warren Beatty steps behind the camera again for the first time since 1998’s Bulworth, to tell this story of young forbidden love under the employment of legendary weirdo Howard Hughes. Alden Ehrenreich and Lily Collins are the two moon-eyed kids, both afraid of losing their employment and defying their religious convictions if they give in to their lusty needs. Meanwhile, Beatty plays Hughes and keeps forgetting the story was originally about these kids and not him. Does that make this a bad movie? Well, it’s not perfect, that’s for sure. Listen to Frank, Gene, Beau and Chris explain the situation.
Bad Santa 2
Who are you people who were all like, “OMG, I totally want a sequel to Bad Santa! I have so many questions that still need answering.” Well, here it is, assholes, thanks a whole fucking lot. Because of your selfish ass now Chris, Mike and JC had to sit through this fucking thing. By the way, is that your face or…sorry can’t even finish the thought because I was too busy throwing up.
Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard are spies during WWII who, despite both of their better instincts, fall in love during an assassination mission and get married, immediately popping out an adorable little tyke. All is well, except the occasional Nazi air raid, until the British spy command tells Pitt, “Oh sorry, looks like your wife may be a German spy and you’ll have to kill her or we’ll kill you too.” Bummer, right?
Disney magics up all over South Pacific island culture and mythology for this, their 56th animated feature film release. It follows a young lady, Moana, whose father won’t let her or anyone else on their island go out to sea. But when a sickness comes over their home, she goes past the set limits out on a quest to find the demi-god Maui (Dwayne Johnson) and make him return a sacred stone he stole back to it’s rightful place. But it’s not gonna be easy. Mainly because Maui is super-into himself and not much else.
Bleed for This
Miles Teller plays boxer Vinnie Paz, a title holder who after his big victory ended up hitting rock bottom (for once in a boxing movie, through no fault of his own). Director Ben Younger’s film spends its time less as a traditional boxing film structure and more as a ‘healing through sheer determination” one. But is it any good? Chris, Kyle and JC give it to you on the chin.
Director Tom Ford (A Simple Man) takes us through a film that has a film inside it and then kinda another prequel film to boot. Amy Adams is rich, beautiful, successful, but kinda dead inside. When her ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal) sends her an advance copy of his new book that is dedicated to her, she is swept up in its violent narrative even as she starts to realize that its emotional subtext of deep anger and regret is directed at her.
Edge of Seventeen
Hailee Steinfeld’s life is the worst ever. Or so she tells herself, and her long-suffering history teacher (played by a comically exasperated Woody Harrelson). Sure, she’s always been a bit of a nerd, an introvert, and a misanthrope, but at least she had that one super-close bestie (Haley Lu Richardson)…until she starts dating her perfect, hunkalicious older brother. What’s an outraged teenager to do? Well, we have some suggestions and most of them involve her ceasing her endless whingeing at once. Herman, Chris and JC deliver the lecture.
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
The Potterverse returns with this new JK Rowling scripted series set two generations earlier. Eddie Redmayne plays the shy Newt Scamander, a wizard who mainly is interested in magical beasts but which gets him in hot water with the magical authorities when a No-Maj (IE:Muggle) played by Dan Fogler accidentally switches suitcases with him and several of his cantankerous creatures are let loose upon New York.
(Recorded During Fantastic Fest) Since Brian and Chris are both at Fantastic Fest, nothing can stop them from teaming up again, this time to take on Denis Villeneuve’s new hard sci-fi epic, Arrival. Listen up, because we’re calling it now: beyond the shadow of a doubt a Best Picture nod (if not win) for this one. Seriously. You gotta listen to the review to believe.
The true story tells the tale of Richard and Mildred Loving, who fell in love, got married, and then the state of Virginia told them, “Get out or go to jail”. Which eventually led to a groundbreaking Supreme Court case. But this plays out differently that you probably imagine. Listen to Chris, Richard, and JC tell you how.
I know, I’m breaking my own rule reviewing a movie written by our friend Cargill, but good lord, IT’S DOCTOR STRANGE! A MAN ONLY HAS SO MUCH STRENGTH! Not that Cargill has anything to worry about because this movie cast a spell on JC, Chris, Richard, and Harris. Well, mostly. There may be some amount of squabbling but you’ll have to listen for yourself to find out.
Can Tom Hanks and Ron Howard pull of a third Dan Brown film adaptation successfully? Have they done it successfully even once? There are many different opinions on this and in this room alone our reviews range from a 3 to a 9. So listen to Chris, Elliott, Herman, Frank, and Kyle all argue about a film I doubted would ever inspire this much fire (despite the title).
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Tom Cruise returns as Jack Reacher (although about a good two feet less of him than the literary character). this time determined to help Cobie Smulders, who has been framed for selling secrets to bad guys. Oh, and maybe he has a kid now who the bad guys are targeting to get to him. Sigh. Anyway, here’s Chris, Frank, Herman, and Kyle reporting in…
Keeping Up With The Joneses
Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher suspect their neighbors are secret agents. If Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot were living next to me, I’d KNOW they were secret agents. Anywho, chaos erupts and the normal folks get embroiled in it, as anything else would make for kind of a non-starter for the movie. But is it entertaining to watch? Herman, Kyle, and Frank give it the what for.
Director Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) brings us this tale of a high-functioning autistic math savant (Ben Affleck) who works for some not-so-nice people, the Treasury agents trying to figure out who he is (J.K. Simmons and Cynthia Addai-Robinson), and lots of ass-kicking. That’s right, Affleck is not only an almost supernatural whiz at being a CPA, he’s also a top-level martial artist and marksman. And there’s also John Lithgow, Anna Kendrick, Jon Bernthal and more. How does that all add up? To a pretty high number as far as we’re concerned. Listen to Chris, Elliott, Herman, and Kyle on this review.
In this shockingly true story, Rachel Weisz plays a professor of holocaust studies who is sued by a well known denier (Timothy Spall) for libel when she calls out his version of history as being fallacious. And this went to court. In 1998! Chris and Richard examine the evidence…
Chris Cox and Matt Frank (duh) get together to review Japan’s latest entry in the most popular monster series in the world. Japanese audiences seem to be responding positively to the new film but what will Westerners think?
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