Suspect's 2019 Movie Watch List

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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
The Blues Brothers




Hop on the hate train everybody, but I didn't love this film.

Maybe it was the hype, maybe it was how long it took me to see it, maybe it's because I'm not familiar enough with Belushi, but The Blues Brothers did not hold my attention, didn't make me laugh and didn't have me tapping my toes.

It did have me checking my watch, nodding off for a split second and questioning why it's so beloved.

As a musical, it falls short. As a comedy, the laughs are slight chuckles. As a road movie, there was little camaraderie...yes I didn't get the friendship between these two. The acting on display is wooden, specifically from Aykroyd and the film just felt like an homage to blues and blues legends more than something of its own. Maybe years down the road I could appreciate it differently, but right now I'm in the overrated camp. Have a seat next to 2001, Raging Bull and The Master.

That's my hot take...come at me bro.
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Suspect's Reviews



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



No hate here. Never understood the appeal and, while I've not seen it in decades, I don't think anything will have changed.
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5-time MoFo Award winner.



I ran through the Lone Wolf and Cub series last year. After years of anticipation, I found them somewhat underwhelming. Despite each movie clocking in under 90 minutes, I thought they each dragged when the slicing-and-dicing ceased. The violence is beautifully filmed and I loved all the blood geysers. The "Cub" was also super cute, but the "Lone Wolf" and his one expression wore thin over the series. I haven't seen Shogun Assassin, but I'm hopeful that I'll like it more than any of the individual entries. From what I understand, it's mostly the second movie in the series spliced together with the introductory stuff from the first one, and the second movie was my favorite, so . . .

I remember watching Willow when I was very young. I have no idea if I liked it or not. I want to revisit it someday. Five stars (or popcorns, rather) is awfully high for Kung-Fu Hustle, but it is highly entertaining with its cartoon-style violence. I think I've seen The Replacement Killers but I'm not positive. That probably speaks to how generic it is. I think the love for The Blues Brothers is based more on nostalgia than the movie's quality. I enjoyed it more than you did, but I wasn't crazy about it. The never-ending car chase was the best part for me. Usually it annoys me when movies deviate a lot from the source material, but I found the Doctor Sleep book pretty weak, so I'm hoping the adaptation borrows more from Kubrick's vision than King's.

BTW, I watched Holmes & Watson recently and I found it surprisingly funny. I went back and read your scathing review again, but it's very non-specific. I really don't get the overwhelming hatred for that movie. Admittedly, I had very low expectations, but I kept waiting for it to start sucking, and instead found myself chuckling throughout. I guess I just have a high tolerance for stupidity.
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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Usually it annoys me when movies deviate a lot from the source material, but I found the Doctor Sleep book pretty weak, so I'm hoping the adaptation borrows more from Kubrick's vision than King's.
I would say it's pretty faithful to the book until the third act when it goes more towards Kubrick's version. It's funny because lots of people seem to have issues with that third act claiming it's fan service.

BTW, I watched Holmes & Watson recently and I found it surprisingly funny. I went back and read your scathing review again, but it's very non-specific. I really don't get the overwhelming hatred for that movie. Admittedly, I had very low expectations, but I kept waiting for it to start sucking, and instead found myself chuckling throughout. I guess I just have a high tolerance for stupidity.
It's probably non-specific because I fell asleep for a portion of the film. That's the issue with comedies. What's funny to one person might not be funny to another, thus it makes it incredibly hard to find that sweet spot. I found the cast to be rather boring and going through the motions, most of them not being funny. The chemistry between John C Reilly and Will Ferrell isn't as strong as their previous efforts. Everything about the film felt lazy to me. The concept of making fun of people in their specific time period with updated humour can be comical, but here it lacked any originality or punch. Maybe more jokes should have been about Sherlock himself and not just generic slapstick. It didn't "feel" like a Sherlock movie to me, it felt like a Will Ferrell movie in costume. Ralph Finnes is wasted as a comedic talent or a straight man. He's barely in the film and the characters seem to bounce around aimlessly through the run time.

The jokes didn't work for me, the "selfie" moment was one that stood out as really bad or when the bees escape. But if someone laughs at the comedy, then they're having a good time. Glad you got something out of it that I didn't.



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




The Skulls is a pure 90's film that came out in the year 2000. It wants to be slick and cool, but it is hilariously bad for all the wrong reasons. I remember thinking the film was boring when I first watched it when it came out and this recent re-watch did nothing to change my mind.

Joshua Jackson wants to be part of an elite club known as The Skulls. They are an illuminati type organization that don't follow the rules, or even laws for that matter. The only laws they obey are the ones they give themselves. Also wanting to join is Paul Walker, he has it easy though because his father is already part of the group. To get in they need to accomplish some college/university style pranks and then let the group freaking brand them on the wrist with a giant skull. Nothing says secretive organization than a giant branded skull on your wrist. Don't worry though, they're given watches to cover them up. Which they put on immediately...don't worry about any infection or anything either. Logic does not exist in this movie.

The stupidity continues when Jackson's best friend all of a sudden decides that he becoming a skull is a huge problem for him. This guy knew Jackson wanted to be a skull forever, so when he finally joins the team he storms off in a huff. Then this wannabe journalist friend of his goes on to "investigate" the organization. This leads to his untimely death and Jackson's dilemma of staying with the group or revealing their secrets.

Wooden acting, inept writing and flat direction with really weird flashback style lighting throughout the entire movie, The Skulls should remain a faint memory to those who've already seen it and a distant one for everyone else.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Mystery, Alaska




A feel good movie about hockey and since I live in Canada, I guess I have to love it, right? While the film is indeed a few good comedy centred around hockey, the film doesn't showcase any real exciting moments on the ice. It's a shame because the film does a decent build up to the "big game".

A small town hockey team is written about in a newspaper and a game is quickly set-up between them and the New York Rangers. Can this rag tag team of nobodies keep up with professionals?

Mystery, Alaska is pleasant, funny at times and well intentioned, while it lacks exciting ice sequences it makes up for it with the dedication it gives to the small town life and the characters that inhabit it. The film works mainly because of the cast, they all work well together, have fun and are believable...even Russell Crowe. Despite his lack of ice skating skills, you does well as the old-timer Sheriff who still wants to skate with the young kids. Burt Reynolds plays his usual curmudgeon self and a "that-guy" cast of characters fill out the rest.



i like the Truth or Dare film
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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Parasite




There is a scene in this film where a wealthy woman sits in the back seat of a car, with her bare feet up on the headrest of the passenger seat. Her feet are one seat over from her driver's face, he makes no issues of it. Yet she gets a whiff of his "smell" and immediately must open her window and look away in disgust. He catches this act, but doesn't say anything about it. You can't help but feel bad for the man, but then you remember why he is there and what he's doing and you find yourself at odds for who you want to "cheer" for in this gripping thriller that is this year's best film.

Bong Joon-ho has crafted a tense thriller that clearly divides the line between wealth and poverty, but blurs the lines between the characters on either side. A father, his wife and two children con their way into the home of a wealthy family by becoming their maid, driver, tutor and instructor. It seems simple enough, but Joon-ho injects Parasite with bone chilling imagery and intense sadness that leaves you not only gripping your seat by the climax, but days after you've seen it, you'll still be talking about it. Just when you think you know where the film is going, one stormy night a knock at a door changes everything.

As with his previous films, Joon-ho balances odd comedy with eye popping horror. In Snowpiercer you have masked men hacking people to bits with meat cleavers, but slipping on fish in a three stooges manner five seconds later. He brings some of that mentality here and you can't help but chuckle at some scenes, then immediately hold your mouth in fear/shock mere moments later. It's such a weird balancing act that very few people can pull it off.

As he does with Snowpiercer, we have a class warfare piece where we see how each side of the city lives. One house has massive glass windows that look out onto their perfectly kept lawn. The other home has flood waters crashing in, toilets erupting and people pissing in their window view. In one moment of brilliance we get a sequence where the family must vacate the rich family's house like cockroaches and they descent down the city to their home. Each shot is the family literally going down steps, deeper and deeper into the underbelly of the city until they reach their destination. It's some depressingly beautiful cinematography.

Parasite is this year's best film and one you shouldn't miss.



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




I remember watching this as a kid and feeling underwhelmed. What kind of reaction would I have more than 20 years later? Hilarity. The Phantom wants to be this rollicking Indiana Jones superhero adventure, but no one involved really has the talent to pull it off.

The Phantom is the protector of the jungle? So it makes sense he would wear a purple spandex fitting outfit. Megalomaniac Xander Drax is looking for 3 skulls that would give him unlimited power, which is represented by a single laser he must point at people while holding all three skulls. The Phantom, along with Buffy the Vampire Slayer must work together to stop him.

Drax is played by Treat Williams, the only person who understands the material and is having a blast hamming it up. He holds the skulls while everything around him explodes and he has a giant smile on his face while he yells "AMAZING!!!" "UNBELIEVABLE!!!". He's like a kid in a candy store. This film was an attempt to make Billy Zane a thing, so that obviously failed. I wonder how this film would have affected Bruce Campbell's career had he gotten the role instead.

Written as a comedy, shot and acted as a serious film, The Phantom is a perfect movie to watch with friends and have a good laugh at. Nothing in the film makes sense and the action sequences look straight out of a Universal stage show. Let's get that remake train going, shall we?



Parasite




There is a scene in this film where a wealthy woman sits in the back seat of a car, with her bare feet up on the headrest of the passenger seat. Her feet are one seat over from her driver's face, he makes no issues of it. Yet she gets a whiff of his "smell" and immediately must open her window and look away in disgust. He catches this act, but doesn't so anything about it. You can't help but feel bad for the man, but then you remember why he is there and what he's doing and you find yourself at odds for who you want to "cheer" for in this gripping thriller that is this year's best film.

Bong Joon-ho has crafted a tense thriller that clearly divides the line between wealth and poverty, but blurs the lines between the characters on either side. A father, his wife and two children con their way into the home of a wealthy family by becoming their maid, driver, tutor and instructor. It seems simple enough, but Joon-ho injects Parasite with bone chilling imagery and intense sadness that leaves you not only gripping your seat by the climax, but days after you've seen it, you'll still be talking about it. Just when you think you know where the film is going, one stormy night a knock at a door changes everything.

As with his previous films, Joon-ho balances odd comedy with eye popping horror. In Snowpiercer you have masked men hacking people to bits with meat cleavers, but slipping on fish in a three stooges manner five seconds later. He brings some of that mentality here and you can't help but chuckle at some scenes, then immediately hold your mouth in fear/shock mere moments later. It's such a weird balancing act that very few people can pull it off.

As he does with Snowpiercer, we have a class warfare piece where we see how each side of the city lives. One house has massive glass windows that look out onto their perfectly kept lawn. The other home has flood waters crashing in, toilets erupting and people pissing in their window view. In one moment of brilliance we get a sequence where the family must vacate the rich family's house like cockroaches and they descent down the city to their home. Each shot is the family literally going down steps, deeper and deeper into the underbelly of the city until they reach their destination. It's some depressingly beautiful cinematography.

Parasite is this year's best film and one you shouldn't miss.
Awesome review, I agree, this is the best movie of the year.



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





Scorsese gets his opportunity to tell his "closing" gangster film in what many consider a swan song for a lot of these guys. Scorsese has no intention of slowing down or stopping, but if he did I'd be content with this being his last film. It's a reflective movie and one that they could only really make at this point in their careers. With that being said, it does show the cracks under the cgi masks when you have a 70+ year old man trying to look and act younger. The de-aging might be passable, but having someone "act" younger is a harder thing to do. Seeing DeNiro try his best to beat up a grocery clerk is a little embarrassingly distracting.

I find it hard to watch movies late at night at this point in my life. Working all day, coming home to a couple kids and having very little time to myself, mainly from 9:00 pm on. So when I sat down to watch this 3 and a half hour epic at 9pm, I half expected to turn it off mid way and finish the next day. Much to my surprise I watched the entire thing in one sitting, engrossed with the performances, pacing and story. Yes, it's is a long movie and you can sense that throughout, but it doesn't 'feel' long. I never checked to see how much time was left or wondered about it. I was in their world, part of their lives.

Everyone involved are bringing their A-game. It's nice to see Pesci back in film and subverting everyone's expectations of him. You expect him to explode at any minute, since we are used to this in his previous performances (Goodfellas, Casino, Home Alone). Yet he never does so much as raise an eyebrow. It's almost unsettling. Why is this man so calm all the time? That makes him scarier. Pacino seems the most lively here, with the most pep in his step as he finally got the chance to work with Scorsese and it flows nicely.

This is the anti-Goodfellas. It doesn't indulge in the lifestyle, it reflects on it. You expect Scorsese to give us an epic tracking shot to a memorable soundtrack when someone is about to get whacked...but we never get it. He starts it off, but ends before the pay-off. I found the denouement with DeNiro going through the motions of finding a plot, paying for a casket, tidying up loose ends in life...hauntingly real. I've spent some time in old-age homes and seeing DeNiro sitting there with no one to see him made me reflect on my own grandparents. Here is a guy who had a wild life, responsible for some crazy things, being just another old person in a home where someone else takes care of him. Surprisingly made me wish I got to know more about my grandparent's life when they were younger.

The Irishman is long, but I have no qualms about it. It sets out to tell a different type of crime story and achieves it. This isn't Scorsese falling back on a genre he's comfortable with, it's Scorsese being reflective on his career. The Irishman is one of this year's best films.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
I have yet to see some heavyweights, such as The Lighthouse, Uncut Gems, 1917, Joker, Knives Out. I doubt any of those would knock Parasite from the top spot though.



I have yet to see some heavyweights, such as The Lighthouse, Uncut Gems, 1917, Joker, Knives Out. I doubt any of those would knock Parasite from the top spot though.
Same for me, Parasite is pretty steadily #1



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




It's funny seeing a modern update on an old story feeling old itself. I'm sure gifting VCRs to people for Christmas felt expensive back then, but it got a decent chuckle out of me this time.

This modern re-telling ups the cynicism in the Scrooge character, making the film have to work extra hard to get us to care about him towards the end. For the most part the film succeeds and that could be due to Murray. I still feel there is a cold calculating menace beneath his exterior waiting to burst out at any moment, but the last sequence is joyous enough to make me hide that notion deep down as well.

This is a Holiday classic that I've revisited numerous times.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Anna and the Apocalypse




A zombie Christmas musical...you don't get many of those.

While I applaud the effort, the comedy bits fall short and the musical numbers aren't very memorable. As I'm writing this I can't remember any of the songs. They work enough in the moment of the story, but have no 'staying power'. The story is pretty straight forward: Survive The Zombies.

Ripping off bits from Shaun of the Dead, specifically when Anna wakes up in the morning and goes about her morning routine without noticing the carnage all around her, most of the film lacks bite, for a lack of a better word. I wanted it to hit harder with almost everything. I couldn't help but feel a tad bored by it, which is not something you want for a zombie film...a musical...a Christmas themed movie...let alone all three wrapped up in one. In the hands of a more polished director, this could have been something special. I can see it possibly getting some kind of cult like status in the near future, but that's the film hoping for the best.



Welcome to the human race...
In retrospect, Anna and the Apocalypse definitely feels like the kind of movie that's trying to force a cult following and the people who first got to see it at festivals were all too willing to indulge that. As a result, finally getting to see it was quite underwhelming.
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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
After reading your Endgame review, I'm curious about your favorite superhero flicks.
Why is that?

I'll have to look at the "superhero" genre as a whole and make some sort of list.



After reading your Endgame review, I'm curious about your favorite superhero flicks.
Why is that?

I'll have to look at the "superhero" genre as a whole and make some sort of list.
Just curious. You wrote a great review for it. You made a lot of the same points I did, but gave it four stars as opposed to my five. It's the second-highest rated superhero flick on my list, first being Avengers, so I'm curious if there are any five-star superhero flicks for you.



I'm amazed by the overwhelming popularity of Parasite. It's currently the highest rated film of all-time on Letterboxd, which is obviously going a little overboard, as I don't even think it's Joon-ho's best film. Nobody seems to have a bad word to say about Parasite. I caught it in theaters a few months back, and I haven't been able to shake the feeling that I underrated it by only giving it 3.5 stars. I still think about several scenes on a weekly basis. There's a ton of subtext to mine from the film, and I imagine that applies even more if you're familiar with the economic situation in South Korea; yet the film's themes are also universal, as it clearly resonates with people from all different backgrounds. Besides that, the film is also just incredibly compelling, entertaining, suspenseful, unpredictable, and sporadically amusing, and I also admired how dark it ends up getting. As you mentioned in your (great) review, the film really takes a turn after that knock on the door one stormy night.

The Skulls never looked like something I'd like, so I've never bothered with it. Watched Mystery, Alaska on a plane a long time ago and just thought it was a routine inspirational sports movie. It's probably going to be awhile before I devote half my damn day to watching The Irishman, but you're not the first to mention that the mammoth run-time goes by relatively fast. (You're also one of many to mention how unconvincing it is to watch De Niro beat up a dude, so I'm really curious about that particular scene.) Scrooged is solid. I'd planned on watching Anna and the Apocalypse this past Christmas, but never got around to it, so I now might as well wait until next December. I watched The Phantom in my youth and remember thinking it was terrible even at an age when I was easily impressed. Been curious about revisiting it just to see Billy Zane in that ridiculous costume again riding around on a white horse or whatever the hell he does in that movie.