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.
Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Poppins is back and it’s like she never left., assuming you understand that she’s a Time Lord and has regenerated into Emily Blunt. Michael (Ben Whishaw) and Jane (Emily Mortimer) are all grown up with problems of their own. Michael is a widower with three children and through his own dunderheadedness is going to lose the family home to a conniving bank CEO (Colin Firth). But never fear, here comes Mary Poppins to whip the family into shape, sing, dance, hang out with Lin Manuel Miranda (who pretty much is playing the Dick Van Dyke chimney-sweep role this time around) and generally turn reality on its ass. But what did our crew of reviewers think? Listen to Chris, George, Frank, Ben, and Aaron turn into giddy little kids again.
Peter Jackson and Frank Walsh produce and co-write this adaptation of the YA novel(s) of the same name. Imagine a post-war-devastated world where (somehow) a lot of humanity has survived by turning their cities into giant mobile tanks that roam the wastelands looking for resources. And bigger cities prey on smaller ones. Now imagine Hugo Weaving playing the evil guy, some teens in love jumping and swinging off of things, lots of CG, and a zombie terminator. You got yerself some Mortal Engines movie right there. How is it? Listen to Chris, Ben, Alan, and Marco tell you all about it.
Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse
Our current timeline is spider-infested. This is pretty much the year of the web-crawler. Between the Spider-Man 2 trailer coming out shortly (much anticipated), the success of the PS4 game, and now, this animated film that debuts popular character Miles Morales into the cinematic spider-verse (among others), we’re positively lousy with spider-stuff. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. Brought to you by the guys who made The Lego Movie, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and 21 Jump Street, it appears that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the animated film to beat this year. Good luck with that. Listen to Chris, Michael, and Ben squee in their review.
Mary Queen of Scotts
It’s queen versus queen in the ultimate royal rumble deathmatch! In this corner is the sickly but powerful Queen Elizabeth (Margot Robbie) and in this corner is the challenger, the new young upstart with a claim to the throne of England, currently Queen of Scotland, Mary (Saoirse Ronan). Of course, that’s the movie we THOUGHT we were getting. But this is totally Mary’s film as she navigates the complicated waters of dealing with a paranoid England and strife at home as many are not happy about a Catholic sitting on a throne in a largely Protestant country. Especially a wacky-bearded dogmatic David Tennant. But what did we think of it? Listen to Chris, Ben, Taylor, Zach, Alan, Frank, and Marco to find out.
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
Is it mo-cap or mo-money? It does seem a little unnecessary doing ANOTHER photo-realistic CG mixed with live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book so short a time after Jon Favreau’s 2016 film. But here we are. Because goddammit, Andy Serkis is going to PROVE TO YOU ALL that he is A: the master of mo-cap and B: mo-cap acting is 100% the acting talent and CG artistry has nothing to do with the quality of it. So how did we feel about it? Well, I’ll tell you this…the only thing Serkis proves is how wrong he is about point B. Listen to Chris, Frank, Marco, and Ben give their review.
Yorgos Lanthimos is a director known for his chilly and thoroughly weird films like The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer. This time around he takes on a period piece about Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) in the early 18th century and the two women competing for her attention, affection, and court standing, Sarah (Rachel Weisz) and newcomer Abagail (Emma Stone) who is throwing off Sarah’s whole game. Things turn ugly between the two and the sickly Queen may or may not be having a ball with the whole thing. It’s not your usual Lanthimos fare, to be sure, but it certainly doesn’t feel like any other period piece film you’ve seen. Listen to Chris, Marco, Frank, and Alan give their review.
Anna and The Apocalypse
Christmas Zombie Horror Musical. Well alright! That’s all you had to say! No question Chris was gonna run out to see this one (again) as soon as possible and this time he’s joined in his enthusiastic review of this film by Ben and Lara. The story follows the titular Anna and her friends who go to the same high school and all have their own set of problems to deal with. All of that seems not as important when on Xmas eve the zombie virus hits and they have to sing and dance their way through some gnarly kills. But does it live up to its promise of being a new horror Xmas classic? Listen and see. NOTE: Something went a bit wonky with one of our mic cables about half way through this review. I did my best to clean it up but you’ll definitely notice some lower levels for Lara at points and enhanced ambient sound.
There’s no science to the statement, “It’s so bad, it’s good”. No way to even really characterize it in specifics that would be applicable to everyone or even more than a niche audience who would feel that way. Well, this 2018 version of the venerable old tale of Robin Hood is that movie for Alan and Chris. Taron Egerton is Robin, Jamie Foxx is John, Ben Mendelsohn is the Sherriff, Eve Hewson is Marian, Jamie Dornan is Will, Tim Minchin is Tuck, and the movie is basically an extreme leftish (I mean, EXTREME) call for violent revolution against the government. Like, the current one. Set inside of a CW superhero pilot. But more on those things and much hilarity in the review that you should listen to right now.
There was no way there wasn’t going to be a sequel to Creed. Or, most likely, 5 or 6 more sequels. This time around Michael B. Jordan returns as Adonis Creed who, under the continued tutelage of Rocky Balboa, has to fight the son of the man who killed his father in the ring 30 years before. With Dolph Lundgren returning as Ivan Drago, now training his son Viktor (Florian Munteanu) for the fight, nostalgia-watch is on high alert. But can this sequel live up to the popular original without Ryan Coogler at the helm? Listen to Ben, Alan, and JC discuss.
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Disney chucks out another sequel as John C. Reilly returns as the video game character Wreck-It-Ralph and Sarah Silverman as his friend Vanellope. This time they leave the arcade through a new wi-fi router installed there to try to find a way to get a replacement piece for Vanellope’s broken game or else it’ll be sold off. Can they navigate through an endless collection of ‘I recognize that reference’ moments? Can you? Listen to Chris, Dimitry, Beau, Harris, and JC and possibly re-think your holiday movie plans.
Peter Farrelly makes a tight turn away from his usual fare with his brother to direct this true-ish story about a friendship that develops through an Italian-American bruiser named Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) and a refined, successful, African-American pianist named Doctor Shirley (Mahershala Ali) when Tony is hired to be Shirley’s driver on a concert tour of the deep south. In the 1960s. As you might expect, trouble ensues. Ok, sure it’s not the deep-drama agonizing anti-racism film that some folks are complaining that it decidedly isn’t, more like the “racism is bad, m’kay” comedy that you can take your grandparents to, but is that a bad thing? Chris, Marco, and Aaron investigate in their review.
The Front Runner
Hugh Jackman plays the guy who DEFINITELY would have become president in 1988 if he had just been able to keep his fly shut, Democratic nominee Gary Hart. This new Jason Reitman film, after a brief look at Hart’s unsuccessful bid against Walter Mondale for the Democratic nomination in 84, switches to his titular front-running campaign in 88. Vera Farmiga plays his wife and the film also features strong and funny performances by JK Simmons, Alfred Molina, Sara Paxton, and a ton of familiar faces. However, there’s something just off a bit about what the film is trying to say and our critics (Chris, Marco, and Elliott) have very different ideas about what that problem is. It all leads into a fun and heightened discussion on the topic that you don’t want to miss.
A Private War
Rosamund Pike plays famed war correspondent journalist Marie Colvin in this film about her life, the danger she constantly put herself in so she could get the stories, and her friendship with her photographer (Jamie Dornan) who accompanied her on her final tragic voyage to war-torn Syria. Directed by Matthew Heineman, best known for his award-winning documentaries like City of Ghosts and Cartel Land, A Private War seems set up for awards, especially for Pike who lots of critics are calling already for Best Actress. But what do the humble critics at Oneofus.net think? Listen to Chris ask Ben and Marco what they thought in this review.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
When the Coen brothers get together for a new project it always demands scrutiny and their first project partnering with Netflix is no exception. Taking on their first anthology, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (premiering on Netflix tomorrow, November 16th) features an impressive line-up of talent (including Tim Blake Nelson as the titular singing cowboy character) and a lot of tonally very different types of stories. All set in the old west, this had both highs and lows for our critics (Chris, Marco, Ben, and Alan) and it’s hard to talk about a collection of shorts without giving away much, but we do our best.
Director/writer Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) teams up with novelist Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) for this movie version of an ITV series from 1983. So, there’s this bunch of thieves and they get blow’d up very shortly into the film (featuring an unusual amount of big-name actors in small roles). Left putting the pieces together are their wives. Liam Neeson was the leader of the group and his wife (Viola Davis) is being held responsible by a gangster-wannabe-politician (Brian Tyree Henry) for 2 million dollars that he stole from them. After she finds a book left to her by her late husband that includes plans for a new heist, she gathers together the other widows to pull it off themselves. Featuring strong performance from Davis, Neeson, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Eriva, Colin Farrell, Daniel Kaluuya, Carrie Coon, Robert Duvall and more, this is definitely one people will be talking about. But in a good or meh way? Chris, Marco, Frank, Kim, and Alan address this and other issues in their review.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
The Harry Potter-less prequel franchise continues, now continuing the search for the powerfully magic and emo Creedence Barebone (Ezra Miller) and with an escaped Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) looking for him as well, Newt (Eddie Redmayne), Tina (Katherine Waterston), and about, as near as we could tell, 3000 other characters have their work cut out for them. Chris, Taylor, Zach, and Ian got to see this latest chapter and they’ll sort it for you into house awesome or house crapola.
Sometimes it really is the little indie films out of nowhere that surprise you the most. Take, for example, Time Trap. Made for a very low budget by an Austin School of Film alumni, its story about a group of young people that get lost in a cavern that exists outside of the normal flow of time is smart, fun, and pretty darn ballsy if you ask us. Us being Chris and Alan. You should check out our review and also check out the film in a theater if you can, and if not, after November 13th you can get it on VOD right here.
I know this film is called Outlaw King but YOU KNOW there was a discussion at some point about calling in Braveheart 2. Because it pretty much is. At least in terms of where the story picks up. Although Patience and Kim make an argument that to get the right crowds in the seats perhaps they could call it Chris Pine’s Peen but that’s another story. Pine does play the role of Robert the Bruce, who if you remember from Braveheart was kind of wishy-washy, but now the noble sacrifice death of Willam Wallace has emboldened him to organize the Scottish against the British yet again. I mean, eventually. Check out Chris interrogating them for their review right here.
This time it’s Illumination Entertainment’s turn (you know, that company that keeps torturing us with those nattering little yellow pill-shaped creatures) to adapt Dr. Seuss’ Christmas classic, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. And now we officially owe Jim Carrey an apology. Sigh. This time Benedict Cumberbatch takes over the role of the now more laissez-faire titular green guy and Chris, Ben, and Alan take over the roles of the critics who had to sit through this damn thing so they could review it. The least you could do to justify their pain is listen to them agonize over it.
Joel Edgerton heads behind the camera for the second time with this film Boy Erased, based on the memoir by Garrard Conley detailing his experience with his family making him go to a gay conversion therapy program. With Lucas Hedges as Garrard, Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman as his parents, and Joel Edgerton himself as the head of the conversion program, you’re looking at a real powerhouse cast. But are we talking ABC Family Special stuff here or a powerfully moving drama? Chris, Frank, and Elliott are here to tell you about it.