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Suspect's 2019 Movie Watch List

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





I had always wanted to check out Heathers and when teen school theme hit, this was the perfect opportunity to knock it off my list. Added bonus, none of us had seen this film, so we were all fresh eyes.

Heather's is a dark and subversive comedy that would never get made today. Heck, they tried to make a television series just a few years ago and it was cancelled before it even aired. Teens, schools and killings are too topical these days in the states that it's hard to push a film looking at these topics through a darkly comedic yet introspective lens. Killing off other students and making them look like suicides is a tricky rope to walk on, but Heathers pulls it off with a dip into absurd comedy here and a dive into look at our culture there.

Heathers had a lot to say and people didn't seem to listen back then. It has since gained a cult following and is a film that people hear about before seeing it. Heathers know how to lampoon a demographic and how to talk to another.
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Suspect's Reviews



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



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




I didn't know what to expect with Dope and I got something that deserved my attention years earlier. Dope is After Hours with a Boyz in the Hood spin, set during the day time and able to surprise you with a curveball or two. The third and final film in our Teen School Week.

Saying little about the plot, Dope manages to surprise at almost every turn. Based on the title one can suspect where the film might go, but the journey to get there is crazy, funny and unique. Not to mention it has a performance recognizing turn from Shameik Moore, aka Mile Morales. He carries the weight of the film on his shoulders and doesn't fault.

The soundtrack is pretty dope too.



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




With a friend of mine seeing The Lighthouse and putting it at the top of her list of movies this year, she wanted to see what Eggers had done previously, so we watched The Witch. A family is outed from their community over religious differences and build their own home on some land near the woods. After their infant son disappears the family goes into a downward spiral and their daughter blames a witch from the woods.

I had to watch this one with subtitles as the characters spoke true to the times and dialect. It helped immensely and I know that he incorporates similar things to The Lighthouse. The Witch isn't scary, it's just a little unsettling. One by one this family falls apart and it's somewhat a slap to the face of religion, intentionally or not. With modern horror films relying on the classic jump scares and blood to entertain or incorporate "gotcha" moments, The Witch was a surprisingly refreshing slow burn of a film that eats away at you from the inside.

Hey Matt, vvhy is it called The VVitch instead of The Witch. VVell, back in the day, vvhich vvas a VVednesday, in order to save on typeface, they vvould simply use a double V instead of vvasting money on creating a W. Even the title stays true to the times....

Also...hell yeah thou wants to live deliciously.



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




Towards the end of November, we all picked one horror film. The three chosen films were The Witch, It and Dead-Alive aka Braindead. I only chose Braindead because neither of them had seen it and I wanted their take on what is considered the goriest film of all-time. It was indeed, to this day, super gross, but the humour helped alleviate some of those stomach woes. A Sumatran rat monkey from Skull Island is transported to a local zoo in New Zealand. It just so happened to bite an overbearing mother on the ankle. She slowly becomes infected with zombie like symptoms and infects other people. Soon, her son and the girl he loves must face off against an entire house of dead party guests.

I don't really have much else to add to what I've already said about this film. It's funny, it's odd, and it's fun. The version we saw had some deleted scenes added back in, which did change the pace up a bit, but it was still an overall enjoyable experience. I had to keep reminding them that this is an Oscar winning director making a film about zombies having sex and becoming instantly pregnant.



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




An entity of evil takes the form of a creepy clown and preys on the fear of children in the town of Derry. A group of kids who call themselves The Losers Club, must band together to defeat this evil before more kids go missing.

Still not scary, but still effective. Pennywise is a great villain, but the more we see of him the less scared we become. He works in small doses and when the CGI elements overtake the practical it becomes a little cheesy. This is only a small part of this film, but it seems to have multiplied in the sequel.

The kids are great, the make-up is creepy and the film does a decent job of adapting the book. It seems that Muschietti doubled down on the things that didn't really work in this film for the sequel which is a shame, but for the most part IT is an effective horror film.



I'm pleased that you chose Deep Rising for your weekly movie night, but I disagree that it's a bad movie. I'm sure my opinion is partly influenced by nostalgia, as it was one of my go-to rentals as a kid, but my enjoyment of it has never waned as an adult. I think it's a cool mish-mash of genres (horror, action, comedy, science-fiction). I love the setting. The cast play their parts well. Famke Janssen has always been an underrated beauty, and she was still in her prime in 1998. The image of the regurgitated dude has always stuck with me. The ending was equally memorable. I think the movie delivers B-movie monster thrills on a Hollywood budget.

The wannabe-Tarantino dialogue in the lobby scene at the beginning of Bad Times at the El Royale had me cringing, but once the mystery deepened and we slowly learned more about each character, I found myself loving every twist and turn. I was teetering between 3.5 and 4 stars when the oft-criticized last act arrived, but instead of being disappointed with it as many others were, I found myself mesmerized by Hemsworth's swaggering intensity. His Charles Manson with washboard abs had me questioning my sexuality almost as much as that picture of you in your wife's thong. The explosive finale was the exclamation point the movie needed to transition from very good to great. One of my favorites from 2018.

I rarely see you talk about classic films, so it's good to see you and your friends exploring Hitchcock. The scene on the roller-coaster is the only thing I remember from Fear. Sounds like we felt the same about Thoroughbreds, while I seem to like Monster House just a tad more. It held up well for me on a second viewing, thanks to the strength and camaraderie of the young cast, but I never found time to check out the sequel in theaters due to its length. I thought The Equalizer was rather dull and generic, and the sequel even more so. Dope is an underseen gem.

I've read numerous scathing reviews for The Fanatic, and each one has increased my interest in seeing the film. Despite clearly being a train wreck, people seem to be equally bemused and bewildered by it. Sounds like it might be headed for cult status like The Room and Troll 2.
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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
I'm pleased that you chose Deep Rising for your weekly movie night, but I disagree that it's a bad movie. I'm sure my opinion is partly influenced by nostalgia, as it was one of my go-to rentals as a kid, but my enjoyment of it has never waned as an adult. I think it's a cool mish-mash of genres (horror, action, comedy, science-fiction). I love the setting. The cast play their parts well. Famke Janssen has always been an underrated beauty, and she was still in her prime in 1998. The image of the regurgitated dude has always stuck with me. The ending was equally memorable. I think the movie delivers B-movie monster thrills on a Hollywood budget.
It's a bad movie that I will watch over and over again. It's one of those last 90's action films that we simply do not see anymore, which is a shame.

The wannabe-Tarantino dialogue in the lobby scene at the beginning of Bad Times at the El Royale had me cringing, but once the mystery deepened and we slowly learned more about each character, I found myself loving every twist and turn. I was teetering between 3.5 and 4 stars when the oft-criticized last act arrived, but instead of being disappointed with it as many others were, I found myself mesmerized by Hemsworth's swaggering intensity. His Charles Manson with washboard abs had me questioning my sexuality almost as much as that picture of you in your wife's thong. The explosive finale was the exclamation point the movie needed to transition from very good to great. One of my favorites from 2018.
Wait a minute....how did YOU see that picture.

I rarely see you talk about classic films, so it's good to see you and your friends exploring Hitchcock. The scene on the roller-coaster is the only thing I remember from Fear. Sounds like we felt the same about Thoroughbreds, while I seem to like Monster House just a tad more. It held up well for me on a second viewing, thanks to the strength and camaraderie of the young cast, but I never found time to check out the sequel in theaters due to its length. I thought The Equalizer was rather dull and generic, and the sequel even more so. Dope is an underseen gem.
The "classics" are definitely a blindspot for me. While I've seen my fair share, there are plenty of more for me to dive into. Any suggestions?

I've read numerous scathing reviews for The Fanatic, and each one has increased my interest in seeing the film. Despite clearly being a train wreck, people seem to be equally bemused and bewildered by it. Sounds like it might be headed for cult status like The Room and Troll 2.
I honestly don't think it will reach that cult like status. There'e just something about it to me that will make it fall short of those labels.



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




You've never seen Commando? Stop right now, let's watch it.

Those words were spoken by me when I found out my friend had not seen this classic 80's action romp. From the opening credits when the Schwarz is feeding a wild deer with his daughter Alyssa Milano, I think my friend was sold on the film. We hadn't even gotten to the classic one-liners of the film and she was already a fan.

Arnold looks immaculate here, glistening with sweat and painted on black war paint for his kill mode climax. Commando is the prime example I show people of a movie where every bad guys misses the hero and the hero literally mows down an entire fleet of henchmen. It's so absurd that it is comical. Was that intentional? Who knows, but it's funny to watch and entertaining as hell.

The writer of the film would have one big directorial credit to his name and that was Street Fighter, which is just as funny, but for completely different reasons. Mark L. Lester directed this film and also did Firestarter. Those would be his two most well known films as he has fallen to direct low budget trash since then.

Commando is a perfect 80's action popcorn movie that is essential viewing.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Shogun Assassin




Shogun plays out like a video game. Take this character across the land to another location and fight bad guys along the way. As you progress further, the challenges get more difficult until you meet the "boss" and battle it out.

Shogun is an oddity, it is literally spliced together from two other films in a series, based on the Lone Wolf and Cub manga. Robert Houston acquired the rights to the films and edited this one together for American audiences. I have no idea why, but the result is a bloody tale that one would hope would encourage people to seek out the original series and watch them. I know I want to.

Shogun is bloody and the inspiration on Tarantino in his Kill Bill movies is undeniable. Tarantino isn't shy about this though as the Bride watches this film at the end of Vol. 2. The fight sequences are unique enough each time we encounter a new enemy that the film never feels stale.

I do wish that our lead would have more difficulty towards the end when he meets more masters in their own right. He never really seems to have trouble cutting people down. He has as much trouble fighting these masters as he does regular ninjas earlier in the film. It takes away from the suspense and the climax a little. The abrupt ending doesn't help either, there's no real time to let things sink in and settle. We get the end credits as soon as a fight is over. No time to digest things.

If you're looking for bloody sword play, appendages flying off the screen and a cute kid being pushed around in a cart...Shogun is for you.



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




I had never seen Willow before it was nominated to be watched by a friend of mine. It was his childhood fantasy movie much like Lord of the Rings are for a bunch of people today. It had elements I knew I'd like so why it took me so long to watch it is a mystery.

A prophecy about a child being the downfall of an evil sorceress makes her imprison all the pregnant women in the kingdom. When that specific child is born, she is whisked away to safety and eventually is found by Willow, a dwarf. He is tasked with taking the child back to the humans so they can care for her. Soon Willow finds himself on a real adventure, not only fighting for the child's life, but fighting for his own.

Val Kilmer is my boy and it's depressing to see him in his current state. Here he shows charisma, great comedic timing and a sense of adventure. He has really good chemistry with Warwick Davis, as does the rest of the cast. The special effects are decent for the time and the story takes a classic tale and continues to find entertainment value out of it. It really does feel like an adventure as the landscape we inhabit changes from forest to village to snowy mountains and castles.

I always felt like this was one of those weird one-off fantasy films that only a few people know about. It never became an epic series or really famous in the zeitgeist, so it fell to the shadows.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Doctor Sleep




Why did this movie fail at the box office? Multiple reasons; it was released after the classic horror movie month of October, it has an overly long run time of 152 minutes and a bunch of people had no idea it was a sequel to The Shining. Doctor Sleep as a title doesn't really translate enough information to the audience as to what the film is about. This is a shame because Doctor Sleep does the impossible task of being it's own movie while simultaneously honouring the legacy of Kubrick's Shining. It had to walk that tight rope of adapting a book and a movie at the same time, Mike Flanagan does a marvelous job of it and I applaud him.

Danny is older now and the trauma from the Overlook has followed him home. He's become an alcoholic, just like his father. Moving from town to town, he finally settles in a small town in New Hampshire and meets Billy, who becomes his AA sponsor and gets him a job at a hospice where he uses his shine to help people pass on, giving him the moniker of Doctor Sleep. While his life is slowly coming back together, a young girl named Abra is showcasing unbelievable Shine powers, Danny senses this...but so do a traveling group of vampire like creatures that feed on people with Shine.

A lot of things work here while only a few things don't. I think the performances from everyone is aces, with McGregor managing to make the role his own. The real stand out is Rebecca Ferguson as Rose the Hat, one of those travelling shine suckers. They refer to it as steam since when they suck the power out it looks like steam escaping the victims mouth. In one horrifying scene we see them torture and suck the steam out of a young boy. The steam is better when they suffer.

Characters from the original show up here, but they make the interesting choice of recasting them instead of digitally manipulating the actor to look like the original counter-part. It worked for me until freaking Elliott from E.T. shows up and immediately takes you out of the emotional and creepy moment. I don't know which choice would have been better, but the recent move to the digital manipulation I think would have made it less distracting.

The film changes the ending to the book and it becomes what people have criticized as fan service. I don't really see it that way as the logical conclusion would be to "go back". I do prefer the film as its own thing though, instead of being The Shining 2.0 towards the climax, but it doesn't detract from the overall film.

Mike Flanagan should be the go-to adaptation guy of King's work, he simply "gets it". Doctor Sleep deserved to be seen by more people and Flanagan is a filmmaker whose work I greatly enjoy.



I don't know if Doctor Sleep was to long or they just didn't do enough with the horror. My biggest issue was Mrs. Massey shows up four times and she just looks ridiculous. I don't know why it's so hard to make a naked old woman terrifying but in both this and It Chapter 2 they missed the mark.



When I was little, my father was famous. He was the greatest Samurai in the empire, and he was the Shogun's decapitator.

The best line ever. This movie especially brings me lots of remembrances, my father was a aficionado of this kind of films, we used to make saturday and sunday marathons. I though no one else watched that stuff, I remember the first time I listened to Liquid Swords by GZA, I walked out thinking I was a lot cooler then I first thought I was.



Faves of the thread- The Amityville Horror, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Grease 2, and Night Of The Creeps, in that order. If my dad posted on here he'd only talk about Steven Seagal flicks, though years back he always enjoyed Willow, which is unusual bc he doesn't watch other movies like that. The romance actually works in the story, I could buy it, between Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley as Sorsha.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Kung Fu Hustle




In order to join the notorious Axe Gang, a young man and his best friend must do some terribly nasty things to some nice people. Through a series of unfortunate events, the Axe Gang stumble upon a small community and cause chaos with those who live there. This causes Kung Fu Masters who live in hiding to reveal themselves and save the people.

I loved this film when I first saw it and I love to report that I still think it holds up. The comedy is on point, hilarious and at times heartfelt. The film never takes itself too seriously, how could it when the characters act like they're straight out of Looney Tunes.

The fight choreography still works, even when dozens of axe wielding gang members attack at once. The film manages to hide the one by one fighters and make it seem like a genuine brawl. I particularly liked when two masters are brought in to take out the three in hiding. The film takes have a small misstep with the female relationship. It doesn't feel explored enough, but the bits it does show us deliver, at least for me they did.

Give this film a shot, it's over the top and ridiculous in the right kind of way.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
The Replacement Killers




One of those films that you think is cool when you're a kid, but realize it's mediocre at best when older. The Replacement Killers is a generic plot about an assassin who refuses to kill a target and becomes a target himself.

The directorial debut of Antoine Fuqua, who would later go on to direct Denzel Washington in a bunch of films, his efforts here show some flash but little substance. It's the perfect example of a Hong Kong film Americanized.

One of the things that surprised me was there was no romantic connection between our two leads and this is not a criticism. It's refreshing to see this, but on the down side there is no chemistry between them either. This was Chow Yun Fat's big American debut and I think the fact that he was starting to learn English at the time had a hand in his chemistry with Sorvino. Chow Yun-Fat would later go on to do the forgettable The Corruptor and Bullet Proof Monk.

When I look back on this film, it instantly becomes one of those forgettable 90's action films that we just don't get to see anymore.I'll let you decide if that's good or bad.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
The Big Hit




This film was nominated and I remember liking it. I find that I own the dvd and my IMDB rating was an 8.

What the hell was I thinking.

While the film is indeed self aware, it is also surprisingly boring and inept. What did I like about this movie? The action is your typical shoot-em-up style while the comedy is mostly misfires. This film came out a year after Boogie Nights , two years after Fear. Mark Wahlberg was a young up and coming actor and he sports hilariously bad red hair here. He continues to have that annoyingly soft spoken vibe and is creepy to watch make-out with a younger actress. He looks like he's trying to eat her face.

The absolute highlight of this film is Lou Diamond Phillips, he steals the show with his over the top scene chewing dumb bad guy. He think's he's cool and plays it up. I can see how he might be annoying to some, but I had a good time watching him here and he saves the film from being a complete dumpster fire.

Small props for it being filmed in my city and around the areas I go hiking.