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.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
A new group of teens has to experience the threatening world of Jumanji only now, it’s not a board game anymore. Only 30+ year olds play those things, right? The game magically transforms itself into a video game instead and quite honestly, you’ll be glad it did. Once sucked into the game, the teens find themselves transformed into different people: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan, and they have to figure out their strengths and weaknesses to survive the game’s perils, as well as the mustache-twirling villainy of Bobby Cannavale. But will teens as different as they all are figure out how to relate to each other? Basically, if The Breakfast Club got sucked through a wormhole into an alternate universe and became badasses (well, some of them), you’ll be VERY surprised to hear what Chris, Michael, JC, and Lara have to say about this movie.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
It’s finally here. The second film in the final trilogy in the Skywalker line of Star Wars movies. I know not everyone was pleased with The Force Awakens. Some were. Our group of reviewers (John, Chris, Ian) are convinced that both groups will really, REALLY dig on The Last Jedi as director Rian Johnson brings some things to the film series that we’ve never seen before. Like extended character development and genuine plot surprises. Oh wait… there definitely will be some Star Wars fans who hate it. Regardless, check out our spoiler-free (we tried REAL hard) review of the film.
Woody Allen’s latest features a period-piece bad marriage between Kate Winslet and Jim Belushi (yes, Jim Belushi) who live on Coney Island and have their lives shaken up when Jim’s long-estranged daughter (Juno Temple) shows up on the run from her mobster husband. Also, Winslet is cheating on Jim with a young aspiring writer (Justin Timberlake) and the daughter complicates that as well. You know what? Whatever. This review is about hearing the chaos erupt between Chris, Elliott, and Johnny. Strong feelings were elicited and I have a feeling the opinions expressed will cause some amount of consternation. Oh well. Have at us.
The Shape of Water
Guillermo Del Toro’s latest dark, romantic, adult fairy tale is being hailed by many as one of his best films. We certainly see the appeal of watching a romance between a mute cleaning woman (Sally Hawkins) and The Creature from the Black Lagoon (Doug Jones) being menaced by a slowly rotting Michael Shannon. I mean, we do now that we’ve seen the movie. Listen to Marco, Michael, Zach, JC, and Chris give their review.
I would never have called it that one of the films being considered for Best Picture this year would be about disgraced, trashy, Olympics figure skater Tonya Harding. But here we are. Margot Robbie plays the infamous athlete in this black comedy/biopic/mockumentary also starring Sebastian Stan as her abusive husband Jeff and Allison Janney as the worst mother ever. Listen to Chris, Michael, and Johnny Neill give their review.
Crisis on Earth X
The Arrow-verse (or CW-verse, or Berlanti-verse) had their biggest crossover yet this year with the DC Comics shows, Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow, all meeting up over four episodes to fight parallel Earth Nazi versions of themselves. So we put together our own team to take it on and see how it measures up against all the other big superhero team-ups going on out there (*eyeing Justice League*). Listen to Chris, David, Johnny Neill, and Elliott. They know what they speak of.
The Punisher S1
Marvel’s latest show on Netflix is the highly anticipated/dreaded, The Punisher, featuring the ideally cast Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle, the veteran who is on a never-ending rampage against crime and anyone even with a tertiary connection to the murder of his family. But what did we think about it? Listen to Chris, Jeff, and Logan weigh the pros and cons in this full spoiler review.
The Disaster Artist
The Room is one of those weird cultural things. This movie, a truly game-changing terrible film on an Ed Wood sea-change level, has been an anomaly since it was first discovered by midnight movie crowds. How did it even get made? Who is this Tommy Wiseau weirdo who wrote/directed/produced/starred in the thing? Weirdo is the central question and I’m not sure that James Franco’s The Disaster Artist will answer all of your questions about Wiseau or the movie it purports to show the making of. But it will damn sure entertain the HELL out of you. Don’t just listen to me, trust our full podcast critic group on this one: Chris, Zach, Mike, and Dragonball Mike (he’s going to regret ever telling us it was ok to nickname him that).
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Charles Dickens. We all knew he was responsible for some of the most beloved works of literature from the 19th century. And that it’s because of him there’s gotta be a new goddamn version of A Christmas Carol every freakin’ year. But hold on, that’s because it really was quite good. Timeless, even. So here we go with the META version, as Dan Stevens plays the writer, stuck between books, unclear how to proceed past the earliest conceiving of the character of Scrooge (played wonderfully here by Christopher Plummer), when he starts hallucinating (or is it just the writer processing?) the characters from the novel appearing to him and writing the story with him. Maybe it’s a new family Xmas classic, maybe it’ll be entirely forgotten in a few years, it’s honestly hard to predict these things, but Chris, Marco, and Michael give it their best shot.
Roman J. Israel, Esq
In this new film from the writer/director of Nightcrawler, Denzel Washington plays a lawyer. Not the slick and fancy, expensive suit kind. The kind that that other lawyer has working for him doing all the research work. The kind who hasn’t bought even a new suit in 30 years. The kind with heart, drive, and unshakable belief in doing what’s right. So, yeah, the kind that doesn’t really exist. He’s hidden away from the world until his partner unexpectedly ups and dies and he finds himself thrust into the real world, having his 60’s idealism met with a new generation that has learned not to share his viewpoint. Will he conform, or will he wither away? Chris and Elliot (our resident lawyer) discuss this film at length and I think our verdict will surprise you.
A little Mexican boy is transported to the realm of the dead (not in a creepy way) when he defies his family’s wishes to stay away from music. There, he must find his musician great-grandfather to receive a blessing in order to be able to return to the world of the living without the added onus of ‘no music for you’ that every other dead relative he has insists on adding on. Pixar brings their magic to Día de Muertos and as expected, the results are pretty darn solid. Check out Chris, Marco, Michael, JC, and Elliot on the review.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbings, Missouri
Frances McDormand plays Mildred, a woman living in a small town who is seething with anger because still, 7 months after the rape and murder of her teenage daughter, the local police haven’t done anything about it. So, taking aim specifically at the local Sheriff (Woody Harrelson) she pays for three billboards (natch) to be erected which pose her question. This makes the town erupt in a certain degree of simmering chaos and sets the tone for what we felt is one of, if not the best, movies of the year. Not that it comes as a huge surprise, being from the mind and lens of Martin McDonagh (In Bruges). Listen to Chris, Richard, Marco, and Lara lavish it with praise.
**Warning: There are some mild spoilers in our review. We recommend you go see this film…like, now, and THEN listen the review.
Rural Mississippi. The late 40s. Racism. Mud. Poverty. PTSD. That’s what you’re in for with this Netflix-produced, Dee Rees-directed adaptation of the novel by Hillary Jordan. Garrett Hedlund and Jason Mitchell are two young men back from WWII, each confronting the abject poverty of their homes (and rampant racism) in different ways but having a friendship based on their shared soldiering experiences. Casey Mulligan is Jason Clarke’s wife who was expecting something WAY different when she was told they were packing up the whole family and moving to a farm. Rob Morgan and Mary J Blige are working for Clarke and are figuring out that trying to get ahead in this scenario is a losing proposition. And Chris, Marco, and Mike are the HSR critics who don’t really see eye-to-eye on this film. Check out their review here.
Well, here we are. After several disappointing films and one solid one, the DCU has built up to their big team-up film. What, we got yer Batman, we got yer Aquaman, we got yer Flash, we got yer Wonder Woman, and we got yer Cyborg. Pretty much the Justice League, right? Yeah, and that other guy who may or may not make an appearance. Lots of arms crossed and cynical predictions going into this one but did it surprise us? Listen to Chris, Michael, Elliot, Zach, JC, and Marco form their own super-team in the review.
Last Flag Flying
Richard Linklater has kinda mastered the road trip deep conversations thing. At least now with the release of his (kinda, sorta, not really) sequel to 1973’s The Last Detail. Bryan Cranston, Steve Carrell, and Lawrence Fishburne play old Vietnam war buddies who are uncomfortably reunited when Carrell asks them to join him for a trip to the funeral of his son who died in the Iraq war. Everyone is WAY on their game here. Trust Chris, Richard, and Lara to tell you all about it.
Murder on the Orient Express
Kenneth Branagh takes on this new adaptation of the Agatha Christie classic as director and detective as he plays the mustachioed Hercule Poirot trying to solve a murder mystery on a train. Of course, this being what it is, traditionally you gotta have a huge cast and here we’ve got Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Josh Gad, Judi Dench, Olivia Colman, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Derek Jacoby, Michelle Pfeiffer, and more. But how does it hold up next to the previous versions? Listen to Patience, Michael, JC, Frank, and Chris tell you.
Stranger Things: Season 2
The kids are back together again fighting against the terrors of the Upside-Down and all of America (or at least that’s how it looked from MY facebook feed) was watching. So what did our crew think of it? This long-form season review (full spoilers) features Chris, Johnny Neill, Marco, Kim, and Beau. Chaos is assured.
The third time is clearly the charm as director Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows) takes over the reins of Thor’s chariot in this crazy, colorful film that from its opening frames makes no mistake that it’s a comedy. Co-starring Heimdall, Hulk and Loki (yay!) and introducing Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster, and Cate Blanchett as the diabolical (but still funny) Hela, we suspect this one is going high up on everyone’s favorite Marvel movies list. Check out Chris, Beau, Marco, and Zach with your review.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer
You get so excited to talk about a movie sometimes and then you hit record and you’re like, “How the hell do I get across what this film made me feel like?” The Killing of a Sacred Deer is one of those films…entrancing, complex, difficult to summarize.
Basically, Colin Farrell plays a surgeon with a God complex who is hanging out with a teenager (Barry Keoghan) who he feels (although he’d never admit it) that he owes a debt to. When the teenager calls in the debt in a reality-shattering fashion, it’s Farrell’s wife (Nicole Kidman) and his two children who suffer for it.
We all really dug this, while admitting fully that it is not a film for everybody. Check out our review with Chris, Lara, Frank, and Ian.
Goodbye Christopher Robin
Someone in Hollywood has clearly decided that biopics about beloved children’s storybook writers are a cash cow. This time we take a look at the creator of Winnie the Pooh (played by Domhnall Gleeson), his often-absentee wife (Margot Robbie) and the precocious child of theirs that was the basis for the Christopher Robin character from the books. Taking a darker turn than these types of affairs generally do, the crew was kinda mixed on this. Listen to Chris, Elliot and Frank deliver the deets.
Well, here it is. Our review for what, despite the massive pedigree that would seem to spell out “good movie”, is one of the worst movies we’ve seen this year. Michael Fassbender plays a broken police detective in Norway who is chasing a mysterious ‘snowman’ killer. And lots of other irrelevant stuff happens, including, for some reason, a conspicuously ADRed Val Kilmer in the past acting like a lunatic. Words fail me on my keyboard as to how truly terrible this movie is. But they don’t fail us in the review. Listen to Chris, Marco, Lara, Patience, and Ian take this movie DOWN.
Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House
Liam Neeson takes a break from chasing down bad guys in the action movie senses to chase down bad guys in the Watergate break-ins sense and, in fact, the President of the United States, in this biopic about the guy who turned out to be the confidential informant to the Washington Post (among other news outlets) whose information led to Nixon stepping down. We had mixed reactions on this one but still, full points to Neeson who can carry a film just by the strength of his disapproving glare. Chris, Marco, and Mike will be guiding you through the political murkiness on this one.
Only The Brave
Are you familiar with the story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots? A fire crew of badasses in Arizona? No? Ok, don’t look them up. You’ll thank me later. Watch this movie about their story without that background information. Here, Josh Brolin plays the leader of this crew of manly men who is married to Jennifer Connelly. His boss is Jeff Bridges. Miles Teller is the new guy with a sordid past determined to make a better man of himself A strong cast, but it sounds a little flag-wavey, right? Upon actually seeing it, we didn’t think so, but we do admit that a film so determined to pay faithful tribute to these important men might have some troubles in the ‘keeping the drama tight’ department. Still, Chris, Frank, and Elliott found a lot to like in this film that we suspect large parts of America will downright fall to pieces over.
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