John Connor's Entertainment Log

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JCVD 2008 Mabrouk El Mechri

1h 37min | Comedy | Drama | Action | Crime
Writers: Mabrouk El Mechri, Frédéric Benudis, Christophe Turpin
Cast: Jean-Claude Van Damme, François Damiens, Zinedine Soualem, Karim Belkhadra Jean-François Wolff, Anne Paulicevich, John Flanders, Janine Horsburgh

Fourth wall breaking film with a heartfelt and compassion evoking performance by Van Damme. His dramatic acting here is as beautiful as his kicks. Besides being a great thriller it's also a great critique at the self-destructive side of a 'Hollywood career'.

Stray 2020 Elizabeth Lo

Very well made documentary following the life of stray dogs in Istanbul. Although it did leave me with a lot of unanswered questions about the animals involved.

Minari 2020 Lee Isaac Chung

Released August '21 over here. 'Glenn' came a long way, solid performance by Steven Yeun, last time I saw him was in Burning/Beoning where he also made quite an impression. The cinematography is well done and overall it's pretty good. Perhaps I expected a bit too much because of the Oscar hype.

The Blues Brothers 1980 John Landis

2h 13min | Action | Adventure | Comedy | Music
Cast: Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Carrie Fisher, John Candy, James Brown, John Lee Hooker, Steven Spielberg

We're On A Mission From God.
The first and last time I saw The Blues Brothers I was around six or seven years old and it turns out my memory of it was totally inaccurate. Had such a blast watching this, can't believe I waited so long to watch this as an adult.
John Landis has the magic touch, amazing performances, phenomenal music and cameos by many musical legends. It's probably the best and coolest (never corny, overly expressive/happy) Musical I've seen and features the best chase scene in a musical ever. Besides that, it's a massive eighties cult classic that instantly brings up all my nostalgic feels for that era.

(2000-2009 countdown preparation)

Irreversible 2002 ‘Irréversible’ Gaspar Noé

1h 37min | Drama | Mystery | Crime | Thriller
Writer: Gaspar Noé
Cast: Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Albert Dupontel


Despite my rating I wouldn't recommend this film to anyone, unless someone is specifically looking/asking for a really disturbing, out of comfort zone taking film. Well made with memorable performances by the entire cast. The film shows extremely brutal and traumatic experiences, shot and told in a very creative, original way. Deliberately made to shock, disturb and provoke thought, it definitely accomplished what it set out to do.

Antwone Fisher 2002 Denzel Washington

2h | Biography | Drama | Inspired by a true story.
Writer: Antwone Fisher
Cast: Derek Luke, Denzel Washington, Joy Bryant, Viola Davis

Fight fear. Face truth. Embrace life.
Picked this one from @rauldc's latest top 100 list. Denzel’s directorial debut, an exceptional and powerful coming of age drama with strong performances by both leading actors. In at #6 on my fav Denzel films list.


Below 2002 David Twohy

1h 45min | Action | Horror | Mystery | Thriller
Writers: Lucas Sussman, Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Matthew Davis, Bruce Greenwood, Olivia Williams, Zach Galifianakis, Scott Foley, Holt McCallany, Nick Chinlund, Jason Flemyng

In the dark silence of the sea during World War II, the submarine USS Tiger Shark prowls on what should be a routine rescue mission. But for the shell-shocked crew, trapped together in the sub’s narrow corridors and constricted spaces, this is about to become a journey into the sensory delusions, mental deceptions and runaway fears that lurk just below the surface of the ocean.

Brick 2005 Rian Johnson

1h 50min | Drama | Mystery | Thriller
Writer: Rian Johnson
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nora Zehetner, Lukas Haas

Brick was high on my 2000's must-watch-list mostly because of my love for Knives Out. Challenging effort by Rian Johnson, the 'Noir' genre is a difficult task. Good performance by JGL, Nora Zehetner attractive but not in a femme-fatale way. Ultimately incohesive film, so not a contender for my list.

Che: Part I & II 2008 Steven Soderbergh

2h 14min / 2h 15min | Biography | Drama | History | War
Writers: Peter Buchman, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara
Cast: Benicio del Toro, Julia Ormond, Oscar Isaac, Rodrigo Santoro, Joaquim de Almeida

Lisa Howard : What is the most important quality for a revolutionary to possess?
Ernesto Che Guevara : El amor… Love.
- &

Steven Soderbergh films I've seen so far, ranked:

  1. Ocean's Eleven
  2. Out of Sight
  3. Ocean's Thirteen
  4. No Sudden Move
  5. Traffic
  6. Che Part I & II
  7. Erin Brockovich
  8. Solaris
  9. Logan Lucky
  10. Ocean's Twelve
  11. The Informant

Dog Soldiers 2002 Neil Marshall

1h 45min | Thriller | Action | Horror
Writer: Neil Marshall
Cast: Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, Emma Cleasby, Liam Cunningham, Thomas Lockyer, Darren Morfitt, Chris Robson, Leslie Simpson, Tina Landini

That was fun! Contains a lot of elements I enjoyed from Predator. Should have watched it sooner, shout out @The Rodent for bringing it to my attention.

Shotgun Stories 2007 Jeff Nichols

1h 32min | Drama | Thriller
Writer: Jeff Nichols
Cast: Michael Shannon, Douglas Ligon, Barlow Jacobs

Jeff Nichols’s directorial debut is not as strong as Take Shelter or Mud but it's still a very good debut. The atmosphere, setting and style remind me of Scott Cooper's Out of The Furnace.

Nichols films, ranked and rated:
  1. Mud
  2. Take Shelter
  3. Shotgun Stories

Broken Flowers 2005 Jim Jarmusch

1h 46min | Comedy | Drama | Mystery | Romance
Writers: Jim Jarmusch, Bill Raden, Sara Driver
Cast: Bill Murray, Julie Delpy, Sharon Stone, Tilda Swinton, Jessica Lange, Jeffrey Wright, Frances Conroy, Alexis Dziena

The Suicide Squad 2021 James Gunn

2h 12min | Action | Adventure | Comedy | Sci-Fi
Writer: James Gunn
Cast: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Sylvester Stallone, Viola Davis, David Dastmalchian, Daniela Melchior, Peter Capaldi, Michael Rooker, Jai Courtney, Alice Braga, Taika Waititi


Zack Snyder’s Justice League 2021

4h 2min | Action | Adventure | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
Writers: Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Zack Snyder
Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Jeremy Irons, Connie Nielsen, Diane Lane, J.K. Simmons, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Ciarán Hinds, Amber Heard, Joe Morton, Ray Porter, Jesse Eisenberg, Jared Leto, Willem Dafoe


Eden Lake 2008 James Watkins

1h 31min | Horror | Thriller
Writer: James Watkins
Cast: Kelly Reilly, Michael Fassbender, Jack O'Connell

So if you're thinking of taking your girl/boyfriend on a romantic getaway to a very remote wooded area. Watch this movie first, you'll probably change your mind and book a nice busy resort or hotel with lots of cameras and witnesses around.
Fast paced horror thriller with a really f'd up but convincing villain played by Jack O'Connell. Added to my top 100 horror films list @ #67.

The Last King of Scotland 2006 Kevin Macdonald

2h 3min | Biography | Drama | History | Thriller
Writers: Peter Morgan, Jeremy Brock, Giles Foden
Cast: Forest Whitaker, James McAvoy, Gillian Anderson, Kerry Washington, David Oyelowo

Because it's a biographical film the choice of story delivery here almost ruined the film.
But the excellent performances, especially Whitakers, save it.

There are a bunch of films that you've listed that I should either watch or rewatch. Still haven't seen Brick, Che, Eden Lake, The Suicide Squad, or Broken Flowers, and should probably give a serious rewatch to stuff like Below, Dog Soldiers, and The Last King of Scotland.
Check out my podcast: Thief's Monthly Movie Loot!

There are a bunch of films that you've listed that I should either watch or rewatch. Still haven't seen Brick, Che, Eden Lake, The Suicide Squad, or Broken Flowers, and should probably give a serious rewatch to stuff like Below, Dog Soldiers, and The Last King of Scotland.
Two months left for deadline, so there's still time, but these titles were all first time watches/homework for me and none of them made my top 50 of the 2000's. I'll post a bunch of serious contenders in your recommendation thread.

Thunderheart 1992 Michael Apted

1h 59min | Crime | Mystery | Thriller | (Modern western) | Based on actual occurrences of the '70s
Writer: John Fusco
Cast: Val Kilmer, Sam Shepard, Graham Greene, Fred Ward

(Val Kilmer did a solid job but I feel this project was set up with Keanu Reeves in mind for the lead role?)

Cry Macho 2021 Clint Eastwood

1h 44min | Drama | Thriller | Western
Writers: Nick Schenk, N. Richard Nash
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Eduardo Minett, Natalia Traven

The Bedford Incident 1965 James B. Harris

1h 42min | Drama | Thriller
Writers: Mark Rascovich, James Poe
Cast: Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, James MacArthur, Martin Balsam, Donald Sutherland

Burn After Reading 2008 Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

1h 36min | Comedy | Crime | Drama
Writers: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: George Clooney, Frances McDormand, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, Richard Jenkins, Elizabeth Marvel, David Rasche, J.K. Simmons

Mid-tier Coen? Maybe, but I still had a lot of fun watching this star-packed dark comedy. Hope it makes an appearance on the upcoming 2000's countdown.

The Good Thief 2002 Neil Jordan

1h 49min | Action | Crime | Drama | Romance | Thriller
Writers: Auguste Le Breton, Jean-Pierre Melville, Neil Jordan
Cast: Nick Nolte, Tchéky Karyo, Nutsa Kukhianidze, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ralph Fiennes

If you're in the progress of making the ultimate 'heist-movie' list, then this is a must watch. If not, it's still cool to see Nick Nolte try to break the bank at the Monte Carlo Casino Riviera. Inspired by the classic Melville film Bob le Flambeur.

Thunderheart is a great early 90s thriller, a very odd role for val kilmer

The Twilight Samurai 2002 Yoji Yamada

2h 9min | Drama | History | Romance
Writers: Shûhei Fujisawa, Yôji Yamada, Yoshidaka Asama
Cast: Hiroyuki Sanada, Rie Miyazawa, Nenji Kobayashi

Exquisite down to earth Samurai drama with a lot of heart and a beautiful romance. Excellent performance by Hiroyuki Sanada, probably the best I've seen by him so far. Serious 2000's countdown ballot contender. Best Foreign Language Film nominee at the 2004 Academy Awards.

Big Fish 2003 Tim Burton

2h 5min | Adventure | Drama | Fantasy | Romance
Writers: Daniel Wallace, John August
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, Alison Lohman, Robert Guillaume, Marion Cotillard, Steve Buscemi, Danny DeVito

A Tim Burton remix of Forrest Gump & Little Big Man.

61* 2001 Billy Crystal

2h 9min | Biography | Drama | History | Sport
Writer: Hank Steinberg
Cast: Barry Pepper, Thomas Jane, Bruce McGill

A Huey P. Newton Story 2001 A Spike Lee Joint

1h 26min | Documentary | Biography | Drama
Writer: Roger Guenveur Smith
Cast: Roger Guenveur Smith

Black Book 2006 Paul Verhoeven

2h 25min | Drama |Thriller | War
Writers: Gerard Soeteman, Paul Verhoeven
Cast: Carice van Houten, Sebastian Koch, Thom Hoffman, Halina Reijn, Waldemar Kobus, Matthias Schoenaerts


61* 2001 Billy Crystal

2h 9min | Biography | Drama | History | Sport
Writer: Hank Steinberg
Cast: Barry Pepper, Thomas Jane, Bruce McGill

61* is one of the few baseball movies that I haven't seen yet, but I have it on DVD so I'll try to watch it for the 2000s countdown.
If I answer a game thread correctly, just skip my turn and continue with the game.

61* is one of the few baseball movies that I haven't seen yet, but I have it on DVD so I'll try to watch it for the 2000s countdown.
To give you a comparison, it's not as good as The Natural but better than Eight Men Out imo. TV movie so a bit smaller production scale but the directing, story and performances more than make up for that. I predict you'll like/love this one, enjoy!

Gosford Park 2001 Robert Altman (Remastered)

2h 11min | Comedy | Drama | Mystery
Writers: Julian Fellowes, Robert Altman
Cast: Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Camilla Rutherford, Charles Dance, Tom Hollander, Jeremy Northam, Bob Balaban, James Wilby, Claudie Blakley, Laurence Fox, Trent Ford, Ryan Phillippe, Stephen Fry, Ron Webster, Kelly Macdonald, Clive Owen, Helen Mirren, Eileen Atkins, Emily Watson, Derek Jacobi, Richard E. Grant

I've seen Gosford Park a couple of times; first time in theaters, and I like it a lot. If anything, it's worth it to see Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith go at it. Also, a fairly young Kelly Macdonald.