Suspect's 2019 Movie Watch List

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"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween




Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the movie I've watched the most times this year. Was it my choice? No, it wasn't. It was my 2 1/2 year old son's choice. One that I am happy and sad about. Happy because he wants to watch something scary, sad because it's this movie. Now whenever he asks to watch a movie he goes; "Daddy....can we watch...GOOOOOOOSEBUMPS?" How can I say no to that?

The first film was okay. It tickled the nostalgia bone of those who read the books when the were younger and had a decent Jack Black portraying author R.L. Stone. The story was simple and hit the marks it needed to hit. It was a kids movie, but could entertain those Goosebumps kids who are now adults. Now the sequel comes around, how do you make a story about Goosebumps after the first film had every book character come to life? The answer is with an unfinished manuscript for the first ever Goosebumps story R.L. Stone wrote; Haunted Hallowen.

It's not the Goosebumps characters coming to life now, it's Halloween decorations. A little bit of a spin on the costumes becoming real bit we see in Halloween III or that one episode of Buffy. The scary bits are toned down and these decorations are more of a nuance than a threat. Creepy dummy Slappy returns, he's the 'mascot' of the series (voiced by Black again) and the main villain.

Jack Black returns but in a much smaller role. I guess you could say they subverted expectations by having him race to the town to fix things, but end up not being needed at all. The kids aren't too annoying, but lead Jeremy Ray Taylor (from the new It films) tests my patience. Maybe it's just me and I'm out of touch, but the kids in these movies do not seem believable. Stick to the original, if you're even the slightest bit interested in these films.

It gets an extra half popcorn for letting my take a nap while my kid is occupied.
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"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
The Nun




Did anyone think that the more successful "Universe" series after MCU was going to be a Conjuring universe and not the DCEU? Was this even intentional or did it happen organically? Even Universal's Dark Universe failed to generate steam. The Nun is another spin-off of The Conjuring movies. After the success of Annabelle and it's own sequel (prequel), The Nun was put into production. Now we have a third Annabelle movie and what looks to be another spin-off with The Crooked Man coming. Throw The Conjuring 3 into the mix and that is 8 freaking movies (maybe 9 from another one I don't want to spoil).

The Conjuring was successful for a few reasons, one of them was James Wan. So when these spin-offs are coming and you don't have a talented eye behind the camera, it drags itself down into generic bad horror. The first Annabelle was terrible, but made enough money to warrant a sequel. With the sequel they actually got someone who has some talent and made it a decent entry. We get it, dolls are creepy and the opening to The Conjuring was scary enough for people to want to see these movies. Move onto the sequel and we get another creepy image in The Nun. One of the more memorable horror sequence in The Conjuring 2 features a painting of a nun and again, people thought this scary image deserved its own movie.

Scary images alone, do not mean you can craft a story around it. The Nun fails on many fronts and the most egregious one is being scary. There are scary images of nuns in the background, but how many movies have done this? It's not something new, it's something expected and tiresome. There are only so many times you can throw a nun in the background of a scene before it becomes boring. That's the one and only image they had in this movie and they ran with it. A lot of the movie is covered in darkness, making it hard to see what's happening. People confuse darkness for scary and they bathe their films in black. It doesn't work.

A scary image is scary, but to make it terrifying you have to give it substance. The Nun has no substance. It's obvious storytelling from the get-go with characters we couldn't give to holy poops about.I love the fact that they try desperately to have a "Oh wow, that's so cool" moment to tie this film in with the original, but since they literally change the actor playing the particular character, it makes no sense. Just like the inane story in this garbage.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Widows




A heist film that plays more into what a realistic heist would entail, dropping the gun glamour and cool as hell criminals for a slower and more dramatic take. Directed by Steve McQueen and boasting a strong cast, Widows is an under seen and underrated film that deserves a bit more attention.

A heist gone wrong ends the lives of four criminals. With them in a blaze of fire went up $2 million dollars. The person whose money that belongs to wants to be reimbursed and he goes after the widow of one of the criminals. She finds an old notebook with details on a big job and recruits the widows of the other criminals in an effort to pay back what is owed and have enough to start a new life. The trouble is that these ladies are no professionals and the man demanding his money is getting impatient.

When you think of heist films, you think of something along the lines of Point Break or Baby Driver. Those films are action packed. Heat is considered the granddaddy of them all and it builds up to one of the best shootout sequences put on film. So how does Widows compare to those movies? It doesn't. It doesn't even attempt to, it focuses on other things and has no intention of being called an action movie. The heist happens and yes, it has tense moments, but it's over in a blink of an eye and grounded in reality that we don't get your typical Hollywood set pieces. McQueen fills this world with real characters with real problems and the viewer feels each and every one of them.

Strong performances from everyone involved, lead by Viola Davis. She always seems to play strong willed characters and this one is no exception. She is dealing with a tragic loss in her life and must find the strength to tackle this head on. Supported by Michelle Rodriguez and Elizabeth Debicki, these ladies make a strong team.

McQueen shoots Chicago like it's another character itself. We have a scene where Colin Farrel has a rally because he's running for Mayor. It's in the run down part of the city and he gets in his car to go back home, which is a big house with security and maids. We never get inside that car with him, we stay outside viewing the city literally changing from the ghetto to the rich. We hear what he's saying, but we are seeing what he is talking about. I don't think you'd find a shot like this in Den of Thieves.



Welcome to the human race...
Haven't been keeping up so...

I re-watched Furious 7 and F8 in the lead-up to Hobbs and Shaw - the former is worse than I remember, the latter about the same. Neither one really made me particularly pumped for a spin-off.

As far as I'm concerned, Brightburn is *this* close to being the worst movie of the year (Serenity just edges it out). Just one idea driven into the ground again and again for 90 minutes.

I figure Minority Report is just pulling the same ending as Total Recall except without feeling the need to beat you over the head with its ambiguity. Spielberg's tendency towards happy endings doesn't really enter into it.

Between Midsommar and Hereditary, I've decided that I can't really f*ck with Ari Aster not so much because they're 2spooky4me but because they're just so...whatever. They're sluggish in ways that the sporadic moments of violent punctuation fail to impact and they're so blunt about what they're about that there's no enjoyment to be had in piecing together what they're about - and that only adds to the idea that this one doesn't earn its lengthy running time. I am still undecided as to which of the two is "better", if only because the more I think about either, the less I like them.
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Way too much stupid talk on the forum. Iroquois, I’m thinking about you.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Deep Rising




My pick this time around. I felt like my first two entries (night of the Creeps and Monster Squad) are genuinely good movies. Now I wanted something that I thought was bad, but could be fun when watching with other people. I was right!!! Watching this film by yourself might be a bad choice, but with a few friends and you'll have a good time.

A group of mercenaries board a luxury cruise linear, but instead of finding thousands of rich people drunk, they find a boat that is deserted, with blood everywhere. What happened? As they search the cruise ship they discover something else is there, something big. Coming out a month after another boat disaster film (Titanic) people decided to give this Stephen Sommers directed monster action flick a miss. It starts Treat Williams in the lead role, which is an odd choice. The guy gives good one-liners, can handle the material well, but doesn't scream action star.

Also starring Famke Janssen, Wes Studi, and Anthony Heald. None of these people were big stars, so you had to be a fan of the genre to want to check this one out. I'm a fan of horror at sea, but this film leans heavily on the action and less on the horror. The climax scene involves two characters on a jet-ski, outrunning the tentacle monster and an explosion. It's guilty pleasure material for sure. The film has scenes where people don't need to reload, a bit from Anaconda where a tentacle regurgitates a character and out of place comedy. It's dumb, but dumb fun.

As for the ending, it's comical. Apparently they wanted it to lead into a King Kong remake, which would have been pretty funny. That got scrapped and we eventually got the Peter Jackson version.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Toy Story 4




I'm conflicted. I really liked this movie, but feel it is still unnecessary and falls short in some key areas. Those key areas are keeping me from loving it and I find myself not a fan of the ending.

Andy is gone and the toys are now under Bonnie's control. She'll be starting school soon and is frightened, so she makes herself a new friend; Forky. Her parents decide to do one last trip before her school starts and on the way she loses Forky. Woody makes it his mission to get him back to her and along the way meets an old friend.

The opening sequence in this film is truly astounding. The animation itself had me wide-eyed. I'm talking about the rain. It looks so damn real that I am truly amazed at how far we have come with animation. Looking back at the original it feels clunky, but still works because they are toys. Even though these character look exactly the same, you can tell how detailed they really are with this film. We stop at a carnival of sorts and are introduced to some new characters. While none of them are as memorable as a Ken from Toy Story 3, they do manage to be fun enough for the story. Duke Caboom takes the spotlight here, voiced by Keanu Reeves. He's depressed that he didn't do what his commercial said he could, he let his child down and can't let it go.

Buzz Lightyear has a really odd character turn here. He questions how Woody knows what to do all the time and Woody says it's his inner voice telling him what to do. So Buzz decides that his toy voice button on his front is now his inner voice? It felt like he came straight out of the box again. His literally taking of inner voice seemed strange to me and somewhat out of character. Then we get to the ending; I know they wanted it to be extremely emotional, but I felt like it was empty. I had a more emotional connection to the ending of Toy Story 3 than this one. To me, this one felt unearned and makes Woody look bad.

Toy Story 4 also decides to sideline all the other toys. They sit in the trailer while Woody and Buzz have the adventure. I can't help but feel like this is a missed opportunity. I was interested in seeing how they would handle Mr. Potato Head, since the passing of Don Rickles. They didn't re-cast the role like they did with Slinky the Dog, instead they used old voice recording to get a new performance. He has maybe two lines of dialogue.

For what it's worth, this movie is good. It's better than it needs to be, but I just hope we leave these toys alone now.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Holmes & Watson




It takes a special film to live up to the reputation of how terrible it is. Holmes & Watson rises to the occasion and manages to be a truly God-Awful attempt at humour from some talented people.

The comedy duo of John C Reilly and Will Ferrell saw some great success with Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Step Brothers. They tried to recapture that creative comedy absurdity with a Sherlock Holmes spin, but my God do they misfire incredibly. The two men don't seem to be giving it their all, but most likely the bare minimum needed to garner a chuckle.

There is a level of dullness one might hit to make people yawn, roll their eyes or even shut off the movie. Holmes & Watson hits that level and goes a few inches deeper. Not a funny moment, scene, sequence or situation is found here. It's quite remarkable to be honest, for a film to swing for the fences and miss so wildly. Every punchline becomes obvious after the first 30 seconds that it makes you feel like you're doing the movie a favour by watching it. It becomes a slow slog of a movie to get through and you hate yourself for watching it afterwards.

Skip it like the plague unless you want to see how bad it really is.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
The Possession of Hannah Grace




It's a damn shame that The Possession of Hannah Grace is as dull as it is, there is a lot of potential here and the film feels like a giant missed opportunity. There are so many moments where the film just scratches the surface of tense and scary moments that could have resulted in a really good horror film with memorable scares.

You know how horror films purposely put in something so obvious that you know expect it to pop up later on simply for scare purposes? Sometimes it's done naturally and the scares work, think of the clapping game the family plays in The Conjuring. Other times it's ham-fisted so much that the expectation takes over the scare. With The Possession of Hannah Grace the morgue where our lead character works in has lights that only operate via motion sensor. So you can expect scenes where lights go on themselves in the background while she isn't looking. Ooohhh so spooky.

A thin layer of what the writers want to call character work is laid onto our lead, she has PTSD regarding her dead partner. She use to be a cop, but now takes the midnight shift in the morgue to get away from it all. A dead body comes in and strange things start happening. The dead body is a result of an exorcism gone wrong. Kudos for some nice imagery regarding the body as she crawls across the floor contorting her body, but then they ruin it with needless CGI sequences with her body.

This film is full of those almost moments. You think it's going to be great, but it ends up lacklustre. It's disappointing more than anything. This film feels incomplete in its delivery. Watch The Autopsy of Jane Doe instead, it has more claustrophobic sequences and genuine horror.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Bad Times At The El Royale




Here is a film that I wanted to love, but ended up just liking. It has everything that I like going for it; interesting premise, great cast, a focused writer/director and a welcomed score. I've been a fan of Drew Goddard since his days on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Looking at his filmography, he's been apart of some projects that I love, or at the very least found interesting; Lost, Cloverfield, Daredevil, World War Z, The Martian and of course one of my favourite films in recent years, The Cabin in the Woods. Since he directed the later, I was immediately interested in seeing what his follow-up film would be and everything that I saw about Bad Times looked great. It's a shame that both his directorial efforts didn't make more money because he seems to be offering something a little more than what your average film seems to be.

Bad Times boasts a pretty decent cast with Jeff Bridges, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Chris Hemsworth, Cynthia Erivo, Nick Offerman and relative newcomer Lewis Pullman. Each person is clearly given a defined persona for their character and they seem to run with it pretty well. This is an ensemble piece, so no one is front and centre and you feel like anyone can bite the dust at any moment.

Goddard introduced the hotel being on a stateline between California and Nevada, with each side having their own colour scheme and decor. I was waiting for this to somehow factor into the story, but it never really does. It seems to be just a quirk to talk about it and look interesting. I was with this film until the third act, when it dovetails into a more cliched film. It felt like maybe Goddard didn't know how to end things, so he introduces Hemsworth and tries his best to consolidate characters and it sort of backfires. It becomes old-hat and tiresome. What was once something interesting and new ends up being just like every other film.

With the misstep towards the end, the film doesn't reach the heights of where it wants to be. I see people comparing it to what a typical Tarantino film might be and sure I see some similarities, but Goddard has a unique enough spin to make it his own. The obnoxious runtime doesn't help keep things moving at a brisk pace, we tend to slow down here and there for conversations between characters that I think needed a jolt of something to keep a bit more interesting. Bad Times wants to be something great, but it needs to settle with being something good.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Fear




So this was Astrid's pick for out movie night and for some reason we each roped out significant others in to watch it with us. So a 3 person movie night became a 6 person movie night. Of all the films to see with everyone, it had to be these 90's Teen Thriller, Fear. My wife had never heard of it, but laughed throughout. Her laughter mostly was caused by Marky Mark's bad kissing habits. He tends two go for any feature on the face other than the lips. Throwing in that 90's grunge music and bad fashion sense and you'll have a great time revisiting Fear today.

Marky Mark's first leading film and we get to see his third nipple. His accent is peaking through and he has his usual soft tone voice that makes me strain to hear his words. His good boy looks can only go so far and William Petersen isn't having any of it. The over protective father sees right through his BS, but looking at these two guys, who is going to win in a fight?

A 20 something Reese Witherspoon is the object of Marky Marks affection. Mark Mark is genuinely crazy, but he thinks he's in love with her. I try not to question a crazy person's motives, but his lust for her to be together "4 eva" becomes a little confusing when he rapes her best friend in the film. Then the movie decides to have Witherspoon blame her friend. What??? She even says that she was raped by him and she's crying, begging for her only friend not to turn her back on her...but Reese Witherspoon doesn't want anything to do with her. Who's the real crappy friend here? She witnesses the Marky Mark grab her friend's hair, threaten her and grab her ass as he throws her over his shoulders. We all know what's going to happen, but Witherspoon is perfectly fine leaving the house and her friend. So not only do you not help your friend from being raped, but you shun her afterwards? It's not until your lives are literally in danger do you somewhat reconcile? Boo-urns.

The crazy stalker boyfriend genre soon turns into a home invasion film for the climax. Nothing too gruesome, other than a severed dog head poking through the doggy door. Fear is a film for teenage girls wanting a thrilling scare. A few of my female friends have seen this film dozens of times and I'm not surprised that my "sheltered" wife never saw it.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
North by Northwest




We have decided to change up our viewing habits a bit and alternate some choices. So one week will be our usual random movie pick and the next week we choose a director and each pick a film from his/her filmography. I threw Alfred Hitchcock as the first choice and they agreed. The first film chosen was North by Northwest. My choice was Rear Window and the third shall be Shadow of a Doubt. I've seen 2/3 of these and the one film I was going in blind was indeed, North by Northwest.

North by Northwest felt very James Bond-esque the moment the film started. The opening title sequence could be mistake for early Bond movies and of course we have the plot involving spies, jumping from location to location and a random love interest that doesn't feel real to the audience, but works for the characters. For the most part, I enjoyed this film. I'd be lying if I didn't walk away a tad confused here or there, but that is due to me not paying close attention and Hitchcock's constant use of the maguffin.

I was along for the ride. Hitchcock crafts his films with intelligence and care and with this film he brings iconic images to Hollywood. This was my first time seeing this film, but even I knew of the crop dusting plane escape and the suspense atop Mount Rushmore. Both scenes executed very well, even if the later seems to be a staple in Hitchcock adventure films.

Kudos on getting a really big laugh from me with the last image.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Tyler's Picks:

Going Overboard
PCU
Dance Till Dawn
North by Northwest

Matt's Picks

Night of the Creeps
The Monster Squad
Deep Rising
Rear Window (to be watched)

Astrid's Picks

Grosse Point Blank
Teen Witch
Fear
Shadow of a Doubt (to be watched)



[center]Holmes & Watson

Skip it like the plague unless you want to see how bad it really is.
Will do
__________________
Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.
Buddha



Tyler's Picks:

Going Overboard
PCU
Dance Till Dawn
North by Northwest

Matt's Picks

Night of the Creeps
The Monster Squad
Deep Rising
Rear Window (to be watched)

Astrid's Picks

Grosse Point Blank
Teen Witch
Fear
Shadow of a Doubt (to be watched)
I think you should just let Astrid pick the films for you all. Not that you've done too badly, TUS. I wouldn't let Tyler have another go.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Tyler's Picks:

Going Overboard
PCU
Dance Till Dawn
North by Northwest

Matt's Picks

Night of the Creeps
The Monster Squad
Deep Rising
Rear Window (to be watched)

Astrid's Picks

Grosse Point Blank
Teen Witch
Fear
Shadow of a Doubt (to be watched)
I think you should just let Astrid pick the films for you all. Not that you've done too badly, TUS. I wouldn't let Tyler have another go.
Ha. Tyler almost ruined the whole thing before we got it going. Going Overboard was a nightmare.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
[center]Holmes & Watson

Skip it like the plague unless you want to see how bad it really is.
Will do
I feel like you’ve been living under a rock or our paths haven’t crossed too often recently on MoFos.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
The Long Dumb Road




I think the barometer for people enjoying this film would be how much they can handle a person like Jason Mantzoukas. His voice and aggressive comedy style might turn people off the content. It's like how some people can't stand Charlie Day simply because of his voice and comedy style. For me, I love Mantzoukas and think he does an admirable job here with a role that could have gone either way.

The Long Dumb Road is indeed a road trip movie. Our main characters meet after Tony Revolori has car trouble. Mantzoukas just happens to be a mechanic and offers to help fix it for free if the kid will give him a ride. He agrees and thus the adventure begins. The two characters couldn't be further away from each other. Revolori plays a kid going to art school to find his craft and hopefully see what "Real America". He's lived a sheltered life and going out on his on is a big step in the right direction for independence. Mantzoukas on the other hand is living life to the fullest, in both good and bad terms. He's the grab life by the balls type guy who might have a drinking problem. I wonder if the wild one is going to get the sheltered one to come out of his shell. I also wonder if he might go one step too far and then get lectured by the sheltered one on how much of a juvenile he is. These are just guesses, but they fall perfectly in line with the type of movie this wants to be....and ultimately becomes.

That's not to say this film is bad, it's pretty good. I connected with the two guys on the road, their misadventures and in the end I wanted both of them to be happy. Some events that happen are out of left field and I feel like Mantzoukas' character is written in such a way that it steers the story into those wild moments, which makes it feel not as natural as it could be.

This film eyes its focus on characters instead of dumb comedy. There are funny moments and it's mostly in the charisma of the two leads, but don't expect a Due Date rip-off.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Rear Window




I won't write too much about this one as I've covered it before. It's simply great. One of, if not, THE best Hitchcock movie in his filmography.

Beautiful set design that brings the film to life, each apartment feels lived in. Each character seen through the lens has their own life, their own problems and successes, we get a glimpse of their lives and it makes the film feel richer. Getting a glimpse into one life proves too intrusive as we find ourselves wrapped in a murder mystery. Hitchcock loves his murder mysteries and he crafts magnificent suspense and we never leave the damn room.

It was reimagined with Shia LaBeouf, but in that film he is under house arrest and has an electronic ankle bracelet keeping him at bay. The filmmakers immediately "date" the film when they use technology as a barrier for our lead character and in a few years it will feel old and outdated. Whereas a broken leg...is a broken leg. You're not going anywhere with a cast on ya.