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.
When a washed-up former Hollywood star of three popular superhero films (Birdman, natch), decides to reboot his career by producing, directing, writing and starring in a Broadway adaptation of a Raymond Carver story, the stress starts to become overwhelming, leading to hallucinations (or are they?) of telekinetic abilities and of his own voice as Birdman calling him a failure. And who did director Alejandro González Iñárritu (21 Grams, Babel) brilliantly cast in this role? Why, Michael Keaton, of course.
Remember when you thought Battleship was the silliest board game to adapt into a movie? Well now Universal has gone and made a horror film about the Ouija. Only problem is, there have already been several movies centered around the basic conceit of a spirit board. But hey, at least this one has…direct product placement?
Director David Ayer helms this grimy WWII feature about five men in a tank in the final push across Germany and the new guy who is really, really, REALLY unqualified to be there. Brad Pitt gruffly commands the group of Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña and Jon Bernthal.
Men, Women, and Children
The voice of Emma Thompson reminds us to not take any of this too seriously from space, as Jason Reitman’s sixth film explores the lives of it’s titular subjects. Rosemarie DeWitt, Jennifer Garner, Judy Greer, Dean Norris, Adam Sandler, Ansel Elgort and more (it’s a big honkin’ ensemble cast) deal with the disconnects and new kinds of connections that have altered our lives in this modern digital age.
Robert Downey Jr is a big-city defense attorney who doesn’t care if his clients are innocent or not. When his estranged father, a former long-sitting judge played by Robert Duvall, gets indicted for murder and it looks like he may have actually done it, Downey has to re-check his moral centers, loathing for his small home town, and hatred for his father, and force him to accept his son’s experienced legal defense (before the fumblings of small-time lawyer Dax Shephard get him the death penalty or something).
Yes, no matter how many times you may have heard the origin story of Count Dracula, Dracula Untold is here to fill you in on those bits that, well, you’ve already largely been told. Luke Evans stars as Drac as he defends the people of, based on the accents, Britishvania against the invading Turks.
Would Brian, Chris, and the new guy Michael be able to sink their fangs happily into this romantic action epic or will the continued cinematic Dracula feeding frenzy leave them with a fang-over? No, these Highly Suspect puns don’t stop there.
David Fincher is one of the premier directors working today, and so when Brian and Beau sat down to watch his latest theatrical offering, they were prepared for a quality movie. What they weren’t prepared for was one of the most shocking and uncomfortable experiences of Fincher’s career. And that’s saying something!
Gone Girl is not what you think it is, and saying any more than that would ruin things. That being said, there was no way to review this film without talking about its many twists. The movie is structured like corkscrew; twist after twist directly into your brain stem. Be forewarned, this is probably a review you’ll want to save until after you see this incredible film.
“Hey, The Conjuring was a huge hit! How do we follow it up? Who doesn’t love a horror prequel?”
“Um, sir, our numbers say…no one.”
“Well how about if we do this…NONE of the original characters appear in the film. What do you say now, smart guy?”
“Sir, it seems to me that’s even worse. What even makes this connected to the first film?”
“The fuckin’ doll in the beginning, whatserface…anny or whatever. Make it about the doll. Goddamn Chucky was a license to print money. We’re gonna get in on that. Evil dolls, man.”
“Yes, erm….I gotta go update my Linked In profile…”
Brian and Chris cast a skeptical eye on this rather disconnected sorta prequel, sorta spin-off of The Conjuring. Much fun is had at its expense.
Kill The Messenger
Jeremy Renner plays Gary Webb, the journalist who first cracked the egg on the whole CIA-Contras-Crack Cocaine dealie. Renner leads a talented cast of ‘blink and you’ll miss ‘em’ actors like Oliver Platt, Michael Sheen, and Andy Garcia, but you do get a bit more Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and we think that’s never a bad thing.
Kill the Messenger is practically a cautionary tale to journalists, which makes sense since why else would Hollywood be allowed to make a movie about how the CIA was funding the crack epidemic in America? Poor Gary got his life taken apart and the Unusual Suspects are here to tell you how we felt about that, and how director Michael Cuesta’s version of the story holds up. Listen to Chris, Beau and Will for your ultimate experience in truth in movie journalism. Or truthiness anyway.
Why why why do people still mess with Denzel Washington?!! Have they learned nothing from Man on Fire? Evidently not.
In Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer, Washington plays a seemingly mild-mannered guy with a bad case of insomnia. When a young prostitute whom he has befriended is beaten by her boss, Denzel declares a one-man fatwa on the entire Russian mafia.
Daniel Radcliffe plays a guy who everybody hates. It does look a lot like he murdered his girlfriend, who everybody loved (Juno Temple). But he didn’t do it. What’s a guy to do when even his parents are looking askance at him? Well, trust writer Joe Hill (son of Stephen King) to add a bit of dark magic: Danny starts growing horns, making him literally look like the devil everyone thinks he already is. Add to that some magic powers that makes everyone around him be PAINFULLY honest about the darker things they’re thinking, and you’ve got “Horns” as Daniel tries to figure out whodunnit.
Keanu Reeves plays a retired hit man for the mob who is in mourning for his wife who has died of cancer; she was the reason he left the business in the first place. But when the loose cannon son of the Russian mobster he used to work for kills his dog….there’s gonna be hell to pay.
… Ok, I know, it doesn’t sound like anything to write home about on the page.
BUT WE’RE WRITING HOME ABOUT IT, DAMMIT, AND IN ALL CAPS!!!
Well…Kevin Smith is back, for what it’s worth.
We can’t say we listen to his SMODCAST enough to get the references that his new film “Tusk” is apparently littered with, but we can say that, well, erm….
Justin Long plays a shock podcaster who goes on a voyage to Canada to do an interview and finds more than he bargained for in Michael Parks who has a strange hankering to turn him into a walrus.
Yeah, don’t ask us either.
A Walk Among The Tombstones
J.C. and Brian, duly appointed representatives of The Unusual Suspects, stood waiting for the first bullet to be fired, and Neesons did not disappoint. However, this was not the typical Neesons joint, in which he cuts swaths of devastation through the criminal underworld. A Walk Among the Tombstones was darker, more intense, with more shades of Fincher than remembrances of Taken.
This Is Where I Leave You
Director Shawn Levy isn’t exactly known for nuanced character driven comedies but he surprised us with “This is Where I Leave You” starring a big ensemble cast led by Jason Bateman and featuring Corey Stoll, Jane Fonda, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Kathryn Hahn, and more. The story follows a disconnected family who have to come honor the last request of their father who asked that they sit Shiva for seven days and they try not to kill each other. The Suspects (in this case, Elliott, Chris, JC and Beau) found themselves more or less in agreement on this one. Check it out.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
Rookie filmmaker Ned Benson takes a very ambitious, Peter Jackson-y approach to his first movie. He split one romantic drama into three separate films. The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby tells the story of a couple’s emotionally devastating breakup from each of their individual perspectives, accounting for two of the movie versions, with an additional installment blending the two.
Tom Hardy rescues an adorable talking dog and the two go on magical adventures through the mysterious kingdom known as Brooklyn. With a few minor reductions in whimsy, that is basically the plot of The Drop, directed by Michaël Roskam (Bullhead). It also happens to boast the very last on screen appearance of the late James Gandolfini.
If I Stay
Chloë Grace Moretz has a problem: does she follow her dreams of going to Julliard for music, or does she stay in her home town with her new hipster boyfriend? Thank goodness something else happens (because God knows, who’d want to watch a film just about that?), as her family gets in an accident and she finds herself a coma-ghost (is that a thing?) trapped between life and death.
Sin City 2
Rain pummels the desert-browned roofs of Austin, teasing the night with tantalizing specter of quenched thirst. A quintet of scoundrels conspire to pierce the quiet night with a cacophony of snark as they spit dissatisfaction in the direction of Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For.
Chris, Beau, Ashley, Richard,and Elliott go all noir-y to cut down this sequel in an audio review “replete with negotiable virtue” as Richard would say.
Let’s engage in a round of hypotheticals shall we?
What if a boy met a girl who already had a boyfriend? Could they still just be friends despite his feelings for her?
What if she found out about those feelings?
What if that boy was The Boy Who Lived and she was merely a muggle pixie dream girl?
What if a rom-com wasn’t complete garbage?
Into The Storm
Brian, Chris, and J.C. strap themselves in for this whirlwind, and of course Highly Suspect, review of a found footage Twister knockoff. Would the gimmick be enough to make it entertaining? Or would Into the Stormthoroughly blow? Find out!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Would Brian, Chris, J.C., Richard, or Ed find something to like about this latest mutation of the evergreen (rimshot) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise? Or would Jonathan Liebesman prove to be just as inept a filmmaker here as he has his entire career? Not to mention, let’s face it, no small amount of influence from the Bay-hemoth himself!
Crawl into your favorite sewer, cuddle up next to your furry rodent sensei, and prepare for this Highly Suspect review, dudes!
Guardians of the Galaxy
We gathered our own full squadron of mismatched degenerates to take on James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
We’ve got J.C. de Raccoon, Will Goss-mora, Beau The (Mic) Destroyer, Elliott (aka Star Lawyer), and Richard The J’accuse-r.
Also Brian’s back…kind of.
Would this weird, wild assortment of intergalactic ne’er do wells gel into something thoroughly entertaining? Oh, and will the movie be any good? Listen and find out!
Scientists believe that the Unusual Suspects only use 10% of their collective brain. This is a terrible myth, and we would refute that number if our brains weren’t so crammed full of movie trivia that there is no room for such trivial constructs as mathematics. Plus, we could totally scan those scientists and make their heads explode if we wanted to.
For this installment of Highly Suspect Reviews, Elliott, Beau, and J.C. take on the beautiful, but cognitively dangerous Lucy. Scarlet Johannson has always seemed like the kind of actress who can effortlessly blend intelligence with ass-kicking, but in Luc Besson’s latest, her smarts are the instrument of said ass-kickery. Now the question becomes how much of his brain did Besson use during the scriptwriting phase?
The Purge: Anarchy
If you can’t suspend your disbelief for the conceit of The Purge films, with post-constitutional America deciding to suspend all laws against, well, pretty much anything, for one day a year, this sequel isn’t going to make you feel any better about it.
But, on the other hand, if you can get past that, the writer/director of the smaller first film has REALLY branched out with this sequel, giving those who complained about the first movie everything they asked for. But is it good? Chris, Elliott, Ed and JC rage against the machine.
Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel have lost the spark in their love life, and under the influence of tequila and desperation, they make a sex tape together. Intending to delete it immediately after (yeah, right) the footage ends up getting sent across the cloud to all of their friends and acquaintances. How do you stop it?
As a warning to any of you who this might happen to, be clear that these are insane people and by no means should their decisions taken to resolve the scenario be judged as rational in any way. Despite this, is it funny? Chris, Elliott and JC take a look under the sheets.
Hey Richard Linklater, you can be as arty as you want, but if you’re going to actually film a movie over the length of 12 years, well, it better damn well be good.
Fortunately, that’s exactly what Beau and Ed have to say about his latest film, “Boyhood” starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as estranged parents of the initially very young Ellar Coltrane, who over the length of the film grows into an adult.
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
The Unusual Suspects are all fans of the 2011 Apes reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. And why wouldn’t we be? Rather than trying to remake the original classic (like Tim Burton so lamely tried to do), director Rupert Wyatt decided to tell the tale from the beginning, as we saw how the apes gained their sentience and how the downfall of humanity began.
But we were understandably cynical about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Could lightning strike twice? Even from a different director, with Cloverfield helmer Matt Reeves now at the helm? Hell yes.
Earth To Echo
A bunch of suburban kids who are about to lose their neighborhood to a highway development go out on one last adventure together and discover alien life. Earth to Echo is a throw-back to E.T., The Goonies and evenSuper 8 but in the found footage format…a really inexpensive version of those movies.
Melissa McCarthy is on top of the world, so of course to maintain her position she has to play another character at rock bottom with Tammy, a white-trashy loser who embarks on a road trip of self-discovery and extreme alcoholism with her troubled grandmother, played by Susan Sarandon.
The creator of the Irish indie hit “Once” comes to Hollywood to try something suspiciously similar with “Begin Again.”
Chris, Ed and Elliott all decide whether this tale of a rock-bottoming-out record exec (Mark Ruffalo) who discovers life, love and all that gooshy stuff through his promotion of a new talent (Keira Knightley) hits all the right notes or is tone deaf. The film also has the first theatrical acting performance of Adam Levine, and also features Cee-Lo Green as more or less himself. So, you know, there’s that.
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