Highly Suspect Reviews: Page 3 | One of Us

Highly Suspect Reviews: Page 3

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.

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Snowpiercer

Chris, Richard, Ed and Brian weigh in on this Korean made film, all in English with big name actors like Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton and John Hurt, that really is the best sci-fi film thus far in 2014. If you don’t know yet about this post-apocalyptic film featuring a class struggle on a train, you haven’t seen one of the best films this year has yet to offer.

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Transformers: Age of Extinction

“No No No” becomes “Whoa Whoa Whoa” as Mark Wahlberg steps in for Shia LaBeouf in the latest installment in the Transformers saga…and the Unusual Suspects are unimpressed.

Chris, Brian, Elliott, Richard and our newest Suspect, Ed, can’t keep themselves from making this a spoiler heavy review (so, you know, warning) as they deconstruct Michael Bay’s latest CG robot fest.

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Cold In July & Borgman

Richard and Chris talk about two of the more interesting art house releases this month:

Cold in July, based on the book by the always-intense Joe Lansdale, stars Michael C. Hall as a small Texas town family man in the 80′s whose understanding of what it is to ‘be a man’ is thrown into a complex web of violence and moral grey areas when he kills a midnight intruder in his home. Don Johnson and Sam Shepard also star.

Borgman is a Dutch thriller about a strange society of homeless folk who invade the lives of a family in…an uncertain and presumably supernatural manner…and slowly point their co-existence to a crisis point. Weird, weird stuff, man.

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Jersey Boys

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the all-singing, all-dancing, greatest show on Earth…THE UNUSUAL SUSPECTS…reviewing an adaptation of an extremely popular musical that cinematically feels more like a standard rock bio.

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Beau, JC and Chris take on Clint Eastwood’s latest cinematic outing and probably are going to piss off some Clint fans along the way. Check out the outrage…

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How To Train Your Dragon 2

Dreamworks Animation has never showed any shyness about pumping out sequels to their successful films (and even some that we despised). There has generally been a pattern of diminishing quality evident in these. Despite this, I know we all just loved (ok, SQUEED) at the original “How to Train Your Dragon” film and were stuck in that difficult fanboy realm of want/fear a sequel.

I don’t want to spoil our impressions of it for you here. I’ll let the Unusual Suspects do that. This time around, Ashley, JC and Elliott soar with the dragons, letting you know how aerodynamic the film is the second time around.

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22 Jump Street

Ok, so 21 Jump Street took us all a little bit by surprise. I mean, sure, it was directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller who knocked Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs out of the park. But a live action adaptation of a mediocre 80′s tv show about undercover NARCS in a high school? Sounded like a no-thanks to me. But, plumbing unexpected depths in their leads Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, they scored a big hit.

But this is the sequel. And sequels to buddy comedies are almost always half as funny as the original, right? I can’t even think of an exception. And sure, Lord and Miller are back, and they REALLY took The Lego Movieand made it work better than anyone could have dreamed. BUT IT’S A SEQUEL. The first one had to be a ‘lightning doesn’t strike twice’ scenario, right? Right?

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The Fault In Our Stars

Chris, Ashley and Beau are tasked with coming up with a review for this romantic drama+cancer based on an extremely popular YA novel that won’t have teenage girls angrily trying to break down their doors and murder them afterwards.

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Edge Of Tomorrow

Imagine, if you will, a man, with uncannily perfect teeth, who finds himself in a war against unstoppable alien invaders. Imagine he manages to kill one only to die himself in the explosion. Now…imagine he wakes again at the start of that day, to find that anything that kills him, only leads him to reset again at the beginning….

Ok, sure it’s a mix of “Groundhog’s Day”, “Starship Troopers” and any give militaristic sci-fi FPS video game, but director Doug Liman and stars Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, and Bill Paxton, still manage to mash them up in a slick melange that we think very well might be one of the best popcorn films of the summer.

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HSR_371_A-Million-Ways-to-Die-in-the-WestA Million Ways To Die In The West

Seth MacFarlane moves from behind the camera and doing voice work, to being the star of his own film. Here he plays a lonesome dude in the old west that wants nothing more than to not be living in the old west (anachronistically, of course). Spurned by his former gal (Amanda Seyfried) for his lily-livered ways, he has nothing to do but to complain to his only friends in town (Giovanni Ribisi and Sarah Silverman)…until Charlize Theron shows up and teaches him how to be a man. If she’s the teacher, we’d like to know how to sign up for that course…Empty Space

HSR_371_MaleficentMaleficent

Following the recent trend in fiction of humanizing the monster, Disney has begun applying this formula to their own licensed properties, beginning with Sleeping Beauty. In this live action re-telling of the fairy tale, the evil witch Maleficent, played here by the sharp cheek-boned Angelina Jolie, is the protagonist; misunderstood, abused, and full of understandable venom against her abuser (Sharlto Copley). She’s SO mad, that in a fit of pique, she curses his daughter, yada yada yada. Only in this version, later she feels just terrible about it. What we’ve got here is a fairy tale for little girls where the female characters are front and center. But where does that leave our team of intrepid Unusual Suspects?Empty Space

HSR_371_BelleBelle

Director Amma Asante takes a somewhat flourished and hypothesized look at the life of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), inspired by a famous 1779 painting of her and her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray (Sarah Gadon). Dido was the half-black daughter of a very rich English Admiral who, despite the mores of the time, decided to legitimize her as his child and left a sizable fortune in her hands.

Of course, this can’t stop racists from being racists, and as she explores outside of her gilded cage (maintained by foster parents Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson) she discovers a more complex world, and a love decision to be made, between a titled lord from a disdainful family, and a poor idealistic lawyer. All this leads (speculatively) to a courtroom drama that will decide the course of the law as regards to slavery, but that’s neither here nor there….WHO WILL SHE FALL IN LOVE WITH?!? omg.

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HSR_371_ChefChef

Jon Favreau suffers more than most from blockbuster fatigue. I mean, if his Cowboys and Aliens was any indicator, it was past time to take a step back and rediscover his joy. In this case, it turned out to be returning to the sweet and funny style of indie films that he helped popularize with 1996′s Swingers.

In Chef, the title refers to Favreau who plays LA culinary artist Carl Casper. He may be the head of a top-notch restaurant, but when a famed food critic (Oliver Platt) accuses him of having become uninteresting in his prepared fare, a heated and public discussion leads to him throwing it all away and trying something both new (a food truck) and old for him (cuban sandwiches).

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HSR_371_BlendedBlended

“Sure, it’s a new Adam Sandler movie, but this one has a chance of being good…”

Oh, how those words have come back to haunt me. The latest vehicle for Sandler’s mish-mash of family-friendly and the same ol’-same ol’, had an cautious optimism for me because he co-stars for the third time with Drew Barrymore; a team-up that has previously released two of the better films in Sandler’s filmography.

I suppose I should have realized that statistically, this didn’t stand a chance.

Sandler and Barrymore play two single parents with Brady Bunch-sized and gendered offspring who, in order to get a cheap family vacation to Africa have to take it together, despite the the two adults really not liking each other.

And oh, how calculated wackiness ensues!

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HSR_371_XMen_DaysX-Men: Days of Future Past

There is no fate but what we make it, and the Unusual Suspects are always hellbent on making sure that fate involves copious amounts of booze and comic books. This week, Chris, J.C., and Ashley swill from a giant frosty tankard of nerdom with X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Bryan Singer’s return to the X-Men franchise has been preceded with much geek excitement, and made this flick one of the most anticipated of the summer. Will Days of Future Past live up to the hype or will it have us wishing we could travel back to a time where X2 was Singer’s last franchise contribution?

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HSR_371_godzillaGodzilla

All eyes across the world are on Austin, Texas as the inhuman group of movie critics known as The Unusual Suspects are destroying much of Hollywood with their acerbic comments and snide witticisms.

Leading the forefront of destruction currently is Beau, Chris, Brian and JC. But the question on everyone’s minds is, will they leave the new remake of Godzilla unscathed? It’s got an excellent and award-winning cast (Brian Cranston, Sally Hawkins, Aaron-Taylor Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn) and is directed by Gareth Edwards, who some say already proved himself monster-worthy with his lauded 2010 indie film Monsters. Our reporter thinks it’s gonna be a tough fight.

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Neighbors

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne have a happy enough life, for a couple with their first child, slogging through the necessities of the work week, sneaking just enough occasional joints or quickies in the mix to not feel old. But when a frat house moves in next door, led by the charismatic Zak Efron, doubts are fermented, noise becomes an issue, and war becomes the status quo. It’s family vs frat values as Rogen and Efron continue to up the ante in their battle to control the decibel level of the hood.

JC, Chris, Brian and Will pledge to give you the very best review possible of the latest R-rated sex comedy (that nonetheless, had, of course, a screaming baby in the theater….ironically, I suppose).

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Locke

With nary a “Bane” impression to be found, The Unusual Suspects, this time made up of JC, Chris, Beau and Will, take a look at Tom Hardy’s new film, “Locke”. Well outside of the range of his previous roles, Tom plays a construction foreman named Ivan Locke who has chucked his whole life behind him (as politely as he could manage) to drive to London to be with a woman who is NOT his wife who is having his child. Through a series of tense phone conversations while driving, Ivan tries to establish a calm equilibrium with the birth mother, his family and his job, but the chaos he’s unleashed by trying to do what he considers ‘the right thing’ has consequences that no control freak can handle.

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HSR_371_The_Amazing_Spider-Man2The Amazing Spider-Man 2

For the first time ever it would have actually been appropriate to give a sequel the secondary title, ‘Electric Boogaloo”. Missed opportunities. But Beau, Chris, Brian and JC point out lots of other ones in this latest addition to the Spider-verse, as Andrew Garfield, under the direction of Marc Webb, puts on the red and blues and swings in the direct path of no end of trouble, including Jaimie Fox as an autistic stalker who becomes “Electro” and Dane De Haan as, erm, Harry Osbourne….I guess.

I don’t want to say too much here; even in the review there are elements that are hard to say aren’t somewhat spoilery. It’s not a film you can review without giving away some stuff, so I’m just warning ya. But you might be surprised all the things they DID like about this one. Which may come off as faint praise nonetheless.

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HSR_371_-Under-the-SkinUnder The Skin

Scarlett Johansson has come to our planet seeking soccer hooligans. She will seduce them, drive them to her alien lair. ???. Profit. That’s (I guess) the premise of Jonathan Glazer’s (Sexy Beast) new film that seems to be sharply dividing audiences and critics, even among the Unusual Suspects.

Brian, Richard, JC and Chris all take a turn trying to discern meaning from Glazer’s arty, seventies-sci-fi-ish film that will create both devotees and disparagers, probably in equal measure.

Did I mention Scarlett gets nekkid?

Oh yeah.

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HSR_371_The-Quiet-OnesThe Quiet Ones

Jared Harris is a para-psychologist trying to get to the truth behind hauntings. He believes that ghosts and their related powers are actually created and controlled by the human mind and he’s ready to double down to prove it. Along with three university students, he’s set up an experiment to closely monitor (and more or less torture, Guantanamo style) a young girl who at least appears to be connected with a malevolent spirit named ‘Evie.”

And nothing goes wrong and Jared Harris becomes the most celebrated scientist of all time for proving that ghosts aren’t real, psychic powers are just, like, ridiculously strong, and evil doesn’t start to get pissed when you keep poking at it.

*ahem*

Yes, well, maybe that last bit, much like this film’s claim to be ‘inspired by a true story’, isn’t all that accurate. Put your trust in Brian, Chris, JC and Richard to give you the real, unexpurgated, frightening truth.

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HSR_371_Brick-MansionsBrick Mansions

Parkour! Parkour! Par-poor.

Paul Walker’s last film is sadly this lackluster, and staggeringly unnecessary, remake of 2004′s District B13. Much of the same content is ported over from the original, but the script changes and editing free-run this update into the ground. But hey, at least RZA gets to drop a few unearned Wu-Tang references. That’s at least gotta be fun to watch, right? Guys?

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