I Just Watched... (Movies/TV/DVD)

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
Don't feel like starting a thread that'll get just 1 reply at best so starting up the classic megadump thread.

Currently watching via Amazon Prime, Breakdown from 1997 starring Kurt Russell and Kathleen Quinlan as a couple moving to San Diego when their car breaks down. She leaves with a truck driver and he has to go on the hunt to find her again. Pretty typical revenge/find missing wife plot of the 90s era.

Good cast too: J.T. Walsh, M.C. Gainey, Rex Linn, and Thomas Kopache are also in this.
 

Laz

0101100101
Re: I Just Watched... 2017-2018 Edition

That was an unsung goodie from the era that I think was hurt by Black Dog (Patrick Swayze as a trucker) released around the same time. It was also on the downswing of Kurt Russell's career, with Escape From LA not long before and Soldier not long after.

I've been rewatching flicks I loved as a kid. Hard Target was my favorite JCVD movie growing up (featuring my favorite Lance Henriksen villain run) and it's interesting how John Woo's style doesn't appeal to me anymore past the actual gunplay.

By contrast, the Marky Mark idiocy of The Big Hit holds up. It's so '90s it hurts in key areas (were shiny suits actually a thing?!), but it's so full of dumb and knows it. Still my favorite performance of his.
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
Re: I Just Watched... 2017-2018 Edition

Čœrêÿ Łåżárüß said:
That was an unsung goodie from the era that I think was hurt by Black Dog (Patrick Swayze as a trucker) released around the same time. It was also on the downswing of Kurt Russell's career, with Escape From LA not long before and Soldier not long after.

Yeah. Escape From L.A. only grossed $25.48 Mill but Breakdown actually did very well, doing $50.16 Mill off a $36 Mill budget. Black Dog came out a year later and did something like just $14 Million so that didn't really have much of an effect.
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
Re: I Just Watched... 2017-2018 Edition

Continuing my run of older films, just watched 1989's Criminal Law starring Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon, Karen Young, and Joe Don Baker. Rough plot is that Oldman was a prosecutor turned defense lawyer, who gets Bacon's character off only to realize that Bacon did commit the murder in question & subsequently killed another woman so it's up to Oldman to basically get Bacon busted/in jail. Pretty common cat and mouse plot including the ending as well (
Bacon kills Detective Mesel and takes Oldman hostage. Detective Stillwell kills Bacon's character after Ben (Oldman) refuses to kill him, complete with Bacon trying to turn Ben into an 'avenger' like him, with a gun and Bacon does the villain breaks a glass for weapon/charges at the hero action.
)

Oldman was fine, if not a little underwhelming and Bacon was solid enough but he's done far better roles. Karen Young as Ellen portrayed the love interest but didn't have much to build her character off of and Tess Harper as Detective Stillwell was just a subservient character piece to Oldman & Baker's Detective Mesel.

The editing was inconsistent with some scenes really dragging and others seeming to get cut too early. Also the screenplay felt it was trying to be smarter than it really was (without adequately making the villain, Bacon's character, smart or elusive) and tended to arbitrarily skip important scenes that made the flow of the film somewhat jarring. By the 1 Hour, 35 Minute mark you're ready for the film to hit its final act/conclusion only to realize there's almost 20 more minutes to go.

It also did the sin of making the police/firefighters inept just to try and make Oldman's character come off as better rather than actually writing out scenes to showcase Oldman being smarter. Keep in mind, this is a defense attorney playing private detective now.

5/10 Check it out if you're an Oldman/Bacon completionist or want to explore their filmography a bit deeper.
 

Laz

0101100101
Atomic Blonde is less "John Wick with a woman" and more "if the Bourne movies were coherent." Charlize is a fine lead but any time she shares with James McAvoy has her overshadowed considerably. Part of it is McAvoy being so powerful a screen presence and part is that Theron's role required her to be rather dull.

I found myself zoning out the more I watched, with all of the style and action so front-loaded you'd think the movie was half its length...but then it keeps going and devolves into generic and predictable espionage territory. The traitor is who you think it is and the action scenes aren't as impressive as the pedigree suggests.

The camerawork during those action scenes, in particular later on when Theron is charged with protecting an informant, is INCREDIBLE. The same can be said for the atmosphere as the calling of the Berlin Wall serves as the backdrop. While this may be based off a comic, I can't help but think that keeping the local issues between civilians and the crumbling East German government front and center would have aided the film so much more. As it is? Generic spy actioner that lacks the style and grit of John Wick or the bombastic set pieces of a 007 entry.

6/10
 

cobainwasmurdered

CWM
Staff member
Assassin's Creed

I have rarely seen a movie with such a GREAT cast that was so bad. Fassbender, Irons, Cotillion, Michael K Williams and more. I liked the big chase scene part way through the movie because it felt true to the franchise and was actually some what exciting. Everything else was a mess. No one really got enough time to tell a good story. Irons was wasted standing around brooding and Fassbander just stood around without a shirt a lot. The ending was hilariously dumb.

3/10 or worse.
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
The Believer from 2001. A low budget, raw Indie film about a young twenty something of Jewish descent whom has become an Anti-Semite (particularly towards Jews). It stars Ryan Gosling as Daniel Balint, the main character and he is very good in this role. He balances the internal struggles of outwardly being Anti-Semitic while coming upon realities that test his Jewish upbringing (including stories of Holocaust survivors, one in particular that hits for him) & further the dichotomy of his clinging to/still practicing his Jewish faith despite the rhetoric he spews. Billy Zane also has a bit role as a husband whose wife is desiring to turn Danny's intelligence into a mouthpiece to set up a public foundation to grow anti-semitism into public offices/the mainstream.

I won't score it as high as AHX mostly due to the budget/technical merits (this was made on a budget $6 Million less and it shows) but in a lot of ways, it's a more intelligent character study/analysis of self-loathing and anti-semitism than something like American History X, with an equally riveting lead performance. Definitely worth checking out sometime.

7/10
 

Brocklock

Integral Poster
I watched Chuck. A biopic about Chuck Wepner who was the inspiration for Sylvester Stallone to make Rocky when he took Muhammad Ali to 15 rounds. Very entertaining movie with a fantastic performance from Liev Schreiber. Schreiber makes Wepner feel very endearing and likable even when he's screwing up.

The supporting cast is good too with Naomi Watts, Ron Pearlman, Michael Rapaport, Jim Gaffigan, and Elisabeth Moss all giving solid performances. Moss, in particular, takes a generic nagging wife part and does so much with it and creates a very memorable character. The pacing of it was a little weird since the two most memorable parts (from a movie point of view) of Wepner's life happen within the first 45 minutes, so it gets a little dull towards the second half. It's a little too by the numbers biopic to come close to Raging Bull or The Fighter, but it's worth a watch. I definitely recommend it.

I'd go around 7/10, maybe 7.5/10.
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
River's Edge (1986). Stars Crispin Glover, Keanu Reeves, Ione Skye, Daniel Roebuck, Roxana Zal, and Dennis Hopper.


The concept is that Samson (Roebuck) kills a girl named Jamie (Danyi Deats) and his friends gradually find out the situation with their varying reactions/turmoil to the situation pushing the film forward. The reactions run the gamut from Layne (Glover) helping Samson out/staying loyal to him while Clarissa (Skye) wants to call the cops but is afraid to go that far and Matt (Reeves)
is the one to finally call the cops/get them involved.
about halfway through the movie.

There's no real gravitas to the situation as Jamie is shown as a dead body literally within the first minute of the film so we, as a viewer, don't have time to connect with her death on an emotional level. The emotion largely centers around the friends surrounding Samson and their connection to him while the viewer is fully aware that he's a killer. None of the characters are inherently likable and the likeability (very, very loosely used), via the script and more the direction, is through the casting choices.

The concept is interesting but the film quickly loses its way largely due to the script. Nobody is likeable so it's hard for the viewer to side with anybody although Matt's written as the protagonist of the piece, in a sense. The body is shown immediately so there's no buildup for Jamie's murder and Samson is just a killer so it's hard to see why his friends react the way they do beyond the surface level characterization. The social commentary on the apathy of the group towards Jamie's death is marred by the fact that... well, who cares that they don't care? It's not delved into deep enough to be a satisfying commentary on that (lack of) emotional connection. There's no "mystery" to follow or unravel so the film basically just rides on a group of teenagers doing stuff in the aftermath of a friend murdering another friend... while the viewer waits for Samson to get arrested for his crime. It's hard to get invested even with the casting.

Solid acting but that's not too surprising given who was cast. Nobody really stands out with the possible exception of Glover as Layne although Hopper's Feck character may be the most interesting to watch on the screen. The characterization from the script lacks the depth necessary to get invested in individual characters such as Matt, Clarissa, or even Layne.

Tim Hunter, who's directed a ton of TV shows, does a pretty solid job. There are some interesting camera angles and shots utilized throughout that showcase he was trying to embolden the film artistically.

5/10
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
A Time To Kill (1996) based off the John Grisham novel. Stars an All-Star Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, Oliver Platt, Charles S. Dutton, Donald Sutherland, Nicky Katt, Kiefer Sutherland, and Ashley Judd.

In Mississippi, Pete Willard and Billy Ray brutally rape 10 year old Tonya Hailey. Her father, Carl Lee (Samuel L. Jackson), kills them both prior to trial and gets defended by Jake Brigance (McConaughey) and his assistant, Harry Vonner (Oliver Platt) & new arrival Ellen Roark (Sandra Bullock) while D.A. Rufus Buckley (Kevin Spacey) is on the other side.

Joel Schumacher does a very good job directing this and getting good performances from every actor (maybe not hard to do given the cast but he has a lot on his plate story wise). He also utilizes some memorable shots and does a better job not quite making either side pure good or pure evil. While Batman & Robin tarnished him, it's pretty clear from other films that he is a really good director with the right material and this is a fine showcase of that.

At times, McConaughey does seem a little overshadowed by the cast and actors around him. He's solid but never quite seems to rise to the level of Spacey acting as the D.A. opposite him (or many of the other actors such as Samuel L. Jackson). Part of that is his Southern Good Ol' Boy charm, while accurate for the setting of the film, doesn't quite seem to fit his lawyer character. At times it feels like his character is far more nuanced but the acting doesn't quite get there in reflecting it. Compare his acting to Matt Damon's in over his head lawyer in The Rainmaker as an example.

The racial tensions are a necessary addition and help add a running undercurrent to everything happening within & more importantly, outside of, the court room reminding me some of To Kill a Mockingbird. It's never beaten over the head of the viewer but almost every scene does use of it subtly and sometimes overtly such as the inclusion of the Ku Klux Klan. Just over 20 years later and a lot of this rings true in today's society although less on the nose in the case of Kiefer Sutherland's character & KKK uprising.

The inclusion of the N.A.A.C.P. was also a necessity but felt kind of dragging as well. The entirety of that subplot felt like it could've been whittled down to just one scene while getting across the same message and helping tighten up the pacing of the film.

Overall, a stronger film than the year after's The Rainmaker both plot and acting wise but I felt like I enjoyed the latter more on a personal level. This seemed to have almost too much going on to the point that, at times, it seemed to get away from the actual case underpinning the entire movie. I also feel that McConaughey was somewhat miscast in the lead role, despite fitting the setting, as he couldn't quite match the talent around him and it showed.

7.5/10
 

Laz

0101100101
Anybody else catch the premier of Damnation last night? Gave me a solid Deadwood vibe. I think I'll be enjoying this one.
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
Legends of the Fall (1994) starring Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Julia Osmond, and Aidan Quinn.

If you're into the classic Hollywood epics about the West involving romantic triangles of the 1930s-1950s then this is your modern day version. The story revolves around 3 brothers in Montana, their father played by Anthony Hopkins, and a woman who arrives from Boston and how she changes all of their lives in the 1910s onwards.

The cinematography is beautiful and won an Oscar. Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins stand out for their performances although Osmond and Quinn more than hold their own. I felt it could've been tighter pacing wise but given it was going for that classic Hollywood epic romance spanning decades, it accomplished that goal very well.

7/10
 

Smues

Smuesicide
Staff member
Coco is another Pixar masterpiece. The TWENTY FOUR MINUTE Frozen "short" before it on the other hand...fml. there's no excuse for taking especially a full length TV special before a movie. My 3:30 showing had the feature film actually start at 4:10.
 

Laz

0101100101
Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond is a Netflix original doc about Jim Carrey's on set antics during Man on the Moon blended with a good look into his own psyche. I was tearing up the entire time and went full on bawlfest near the end, both from how touching some stories were and a few close to home moments. Kaufman's family and friends wound up treating Jim's "Andy" as genuine, using him to bring closure to their loss, and hearing Jim express some of his own thoughts on his obvious depression (and nihilism) puts his work into an entirely new light.

8.5/10
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
Čœrêÿ Łåżárüß said:
Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond is a Netflix original doc about Jim Carrey's on set antics during Man on the Moon blended with a good look into his own psyche. I was tearing up the entire time and went full on bawlfest near the end, both from how touching some stories were and a few close to home moments. Kaufman's family and friends wound up treating Jim's "Andy" as genuine, using him to bring closure to their loss, and hearing Jim express some of his own thoughts on his obvious depression (and nihilism) puts his work into an entirely new light.

8.5/10

Just watched this. Fantastic stuff.
 

Smues

Smuesicide
Staff member
It's not as good as the book, but I thought The Disaster Artist was really good. I had worried about James Franco as Tommy but he pulled it off, and it was actually Dave Franco that bugged me. Highly recommend if you like The Room.
 

Brocklock

Integral Poster
Smues said:
It's not as good as the book, but I thought The Disaster Artist was really good. I had worried about James Franco as Tommy but he pulled it off, and it was actually Dave Franco that bugged me. Highly recommend if you like The Room.

Dave Franco is the main reason I'm apprehensive towards it. I think James can disappear in a role like in Spring Breakers, but I haven't liked Dave in anything I've seen him in. It's kind of nitpicky but Greg Sestero is like 6'2 or maybe taller and Dave Franco can't be any taller than 5'5 and his beard looks really wonky in the clips I've seen of the movie. I'll still eventually watch it, but Dave as a lead and the Apatow reunion vibe of the cast makes me apathetic towards it.
 

KingPK

KingPK
I watched The Imitation Game for my history class and I really liked it. Benedict Cumberbatch killed it.
 

RedJed

Rasslin' Rambler
WWE IS RICH AGAIN said:
Smues said:
It's not as good as the book, but I thought The Disaster Artist was really good. I had worried about James Franco as Tommy but he pulled it off, and it was actually Dave Franco that bugged me. Highly recommend if you like The Room.

Dave Franco is the main reason I'm apprehensive towards it. I think James can disappear in a role like in Spring Breakers, but I haven't liked Dave in anything I've seen him in. It's kind of nitpicky but Greg Sestero is like 6'2 or maybe taller and Dave Franco can't be any taller than 5'5 and his beard looks really wonky in the clips I've seen of the movie. I'll still eventually watch it, but Dave as a lead and the Apatow reunion vibe of the cast makes me apathetic towards it.

All of the cameos were cute and not really annoying, but yeah, Dave Franco's position and role in this was not really that good and felt just wrong. All that aside, I REALLY enjoyed this one, especially after revisiting The Room again after many years right before the Disaster Artist. Without reading the book (yet, I just picked it up), the film kind of explains some of the behind the scenes stuff of the film in a unique way. Loved it.
 

Smues

Smuesicide
Staff member
I highly recommend the audio book version. As Greg reads it and he does a great Tommy.
 

Fall of Epic

Epic Reine
I really liked the Disaster Artist. I don't really get much enjoyment from "The Room" (I don't like it in the "so bad it's good" way) and really would rather not watch it at all but thanks to friends, I've seen it way more than I've wanted to. I was reccomended the book a year or so ago and saw it got great reviews so I picked it up and it's pretty damn good. Tommy actually reminds me of Ed Wood (the way he was portrayed in the Tim Burton film). A guy who was rejected by Hollywood and just decided to go his own path and wasn't going to stop until his vision was fulfilled no matter how shortsighted it was.

Dave didn't bother me much though it was jarring just how short he was. I actually didn't buy James much as Tommy at first but as the film progressed, he completley dissapeared into the role and thought he did an excellent job.

One thing I wish they showed was Greg going back to "normal" life after "The Room" wrapped. In the book, he said he went back to retail and did barely any acting afterwards before Tommy contacted him about the premiere.
 

Brocklock

Integral Poster
I finally saw The Disaster Artist. James Franco is absolutely phenomenal and I'd definitely be okay with him winning Best Actor. The movie was kind of a one man show, but I had a ton of fun and the reenactments were a blast. James nailed all of Tommy's mannerisms, the accent, and even managed to give him a lot of pathos while also being unlikable. What a performance.

I was absolutely obsessed with The Room around 2009/2010 and tried to watch any video and interviews related to the movie, so I found Dave Franco completely distracting. He doesn't even try to sound like Greg, doesn't look like him, and is very short compared to Greg Sestero who's much taller than Tommy Wiseau. He has some okay moments, but this would've been even better with a more commanding lead opposite James as Tommy. It's funny that one Franco brother completely transforms himself into the role while the other one does the same thing he's been doing since that last season of Scrubs.

Some of the name actors kind of took me out of it (Other than Zac Efron completely nailing Chris R), but even with those complaints I had so much fun and would watch it again asap just to see James Franco's performance again.
 

Fall of Epic

Epic Reine
Yeah, it's universally understood that Dave was the worst part of the flick. We're very close to James winning a best acting Oscar for portraying one of the worst performances ever put on film.
 
Harley Quinn said:
Čœrêÿ Łåżárüß said:
Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond is a Netflix original doc about Jim Carrey's on set antics during Man on the Moon blended with a good look into his own psyche. I was tearing up the entire time and went full on bawlfest near the end, both from how touching some stories were and a few close to home moments. Kaufman's family and friends wound up treating Jim's "Andy" as genuine, using him to bring closure to their loss, and hearing Jim express some of his own thoughts on his obvious depression (and nihilism) puts his work into an entirely new light.

8.5/10

Just watched this. Fantastic stuff.

See I had the opposite reaction, by and large. It was interesting hearing about his past, but the "I'm Andy and hanging out with Andy's family" thing felt kinda fucked up. He also came off more like a pretentious dick than anything to me. A depressed pretentious dick. I always get fascinated by Bob Zmuda, though. Master carny. Carrey's various musings just sounded like the shit my friends and I said when we'd get stoned in high school. The lighting was weird for the interview, too. His pupils were fucking huge. But I never had someone's soul possess me when I saw dolphins at sunset.

I really hope his acting prep involved him living in an apartment with penguins, though.
 

Laz

0101100101
Residue (2017)
Time and reality bend for a private investigator hired to guard and deliver a package. Curiosity gets the best of him and he begins examining its contents: an old, handwritten journal leaking a mysterious black substance.

Ignore the low budget, the cheesy acting (which never reaches mockery levels), and some weaker moments to.focus on the plot unraveling. If The Void is a modern day take on Carpenter's classic style, then Rusty Nixon's third full length feature calls images of Stuart Gordon to mind. There's splatter, an earned feeling of otherworldliness, and some wonderdul special effects, with the best part being how it's all done with a sinister smirk.

6.5/10
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
I saw I, Tonya and man, what a fantastic movie. Maybe my choice for favorite movie of 2017. The Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan saga is one of my first semi-vivid memories and they did a fantastic job of portraying it in an even keeled, objective way. Story that is hilarious and tragic, sometimes simultaneously. Besides kind of a faux Scorsese overuse of classic rock hits, I thought it was damn near flawless. Great acting performances all around but the guys who played Jeff Gilooly's goons really stole the show. 9.5/10
 

Gary

Getting Down to Business.
Opera is up there with Dario Argento's best work. It takes some of the trademarks of his films (excellent cinematography, a great soundtrack and operatic (no pun intended) violence) and amps some of it up to eleven. The suspense is palpable, the violence is absolutely vicious (this is easily one of his most brutal films in that regard) and the camerawork-especially the use of Steadicam-makes sure every shot and movement isn't wasted. Admittingly, the conclusion is a tad on the weak side, but yeah, great stuff all around. 9/10. Oh, and the new Blu-Ray looks fantastic, and is possibly one of the best transfers for an 80's horror film I've ever seen.
 

Brocklock

Integral Poster
I watched Marshall. Chadwick Boseman is charming and charismatic as hell, but whoever's idea it was for to have a movie called Marshall about Thurgood Marshall be split up with half of the movie being about a Jewish Lawyer played by Josh Gad deserves to be fired. Gad is the opposite of Boseman in that he's not very charming and has dull screen presence. There are some good supporting performances from James Cromwell, Sterling K. Brown, and Dan Stevens, but I can't get over Gad. Kate Hudson wasn't very good either. This would've been a very good biopic if they focused just specifically on Marshall.

If I knew the climax of the movie would feature Josh Gad and Kate Hudson acting off each other, I probably wouldn't have bothered with this.

6/10
 

Laz

0101100101
Adult World (2013)
Emma Roberts is a virgin poetry major who dreams of being published. She finds a book of poetry by John Cusack and decides to find him in the hopes of coming under his tutelage, but bills don't pay themselves. She takes a job as a clerk at an adult video store ran by Cloris Leachman and John Cullum, where she meets her new friends Evan Peters and crossdresser Armando Riesco.

Cusack steals the show by delivering one of his more sardonic performances, Emma Roberts channels her best Anna Kendrick, and Evan Peters...exists. Solid throwback to the random indies I'd watch late at night growing up. 6/10

The Babysitter (2017)
Judah Lewis is a nerdy 12 year old with overprotective parents (Leslie Bibb and Ken Marino), only one friend (Emily Alyn Lind), a neighborhood bully (Miles J. Harvey), and the coolest babysitter on the planet (Samara Weaving). At least, that's what he thinks until he stays up after his bedtime. That's when he catches the babysitter and her friends sacrificing the nerdy Doug Haley to Satan.

McG's direction is, for once, spot on here, and a great cast brings a solid script by Brian Duffield to life. This has been the best Netflix original movie I've seen yet. 7/10

Drifter (2016)
Aria Emory and Drew Harwood are brothers in a post-apocalyptic world hunting the man who killed their father. While tracking him down, they stumble into the shanty trailer park town of Demyl, where the locals are eager to have them over for dinner. Literally.

Very little happens but what does is memorable. Director Chris von Hoffman had only made shorts until this point and it shows, as some of the most captivating shots and brilliantly brutal scenes resonate despite the poor pacing and weak script. Like Adult World, a throwback to 90s indies in tone and pacing, but lacking a truly memorable ending or original moment. At times it feels like the best Rob Zombie movie never made and at other times just another self-satisfactory slice of pretentiousness. Similar to Bad Batch in both strength and weakness. 5.5/10
 
Top