This week's film "The ritual" is basically a slightly better version of "The Blair Witch" remake or a considerably worse version of the film the "The Descent". The set up to the film is so painfully contrived you could probably write the next two sentences of the synopsis based off "Four friends go on a hiking trip through the Swedish wilderness". One of them sustains a substantial injury that forces them to take a short cut through a creepy forest...cryptic totems start appearing on the tree branches...they come across a creepy cabin...strange events begin to haunt the party. Does this all seem familiar? That's because it's basically the same film as literally a dozen others that you have no doubt seen or at least heard about in the last decade. What elevates this film slightly above the rest is the beautiful cinematography, serviceable acting and the fantastic monster reveal. This picture gets a somewhat reluctant thumbs up as the creature is one of the best in recent memory...the rest of the film however is only ever "okay". We spoil the film early on and spend the last half of this episode talking games...we had to fill it with something of substance.
The largest Paradox in this week's film "The Cloverfield Paradox" is why they felt the need to associate this film with the Cloverfield film franchise. What seemed to begin as a promising anthology series has taken a turn towards over explaining the events of the first films while under explaining the "science" behind the most recent entry. It begins as any mediocre sci-fi film does: with a dystopian Earth on the verge of running out of resources. Of course there is a team of scientists who are Earth's last remaining hope at sustainability. By activating an advanced hadron collider in space they plan to ????? in order to save Earth's inhabitants. If you haven't guessed this film does a piss poor job at explaining what they really hope to accomplish and as can be anticipated from the very start of the film things go awry. For a film that clearly states has "no rules" they play it pretty safe and fail to develop any of the ideas that are even remotely interesting. It's made worse by cliché, one-note characters and long sequences of boring, uneventful banter. Honestly, I can name three films off the top of my head, which all begin with the same premise and are much better experiences than this one. If you're dead set on watching this though be warned there are full spoilers for the film in this episode.
Ever want to hear three grown men endlessly gush over Ray Romano? That's basically the gist of this week's discussion on "The Big Sick". We were surprised at how much there is to love about this film, particularly since it technically falls into the "Rom-Com" film genre. There's more comedy than romance though as "The Big Sick" features a number of real life comedians who all deliver pretty solid performances. The film itself is made more intriguing knowing that it's the true story of how comedian Kumail Nanjiani met his now wife Emily Gordon (who co-wrote the film). There are so many different themes this film touches on that it's kind of incredible that all of them feel perfectly balanced. This is the second film in a row we've watched and thoroughly enjoyed...so much so that we would strongly encourage you to watch it before checking out this episode.
When it was announced that our film this week was "Brawl In Cell Block 99" there was a fair amount of groaning and eye rolling. A revenge film starring Vince Vaughn and Don Johnson? Maybe you're having the same reaction at this very moment. Maybe the plot synopsis: Following a failed drug deal a convicted criminal is blackmailed into an assassination plot by a drug cartel using his kidnapped wife and unborn child as leverage...does little to assuage your fears. It would be fair to assume that this 2017 film with a relatively unknown director and limited theatrical release wasn't worth your time. After our viewing this week the only thing we can say is that this film is incredible and the assertion is unanimous. This is a grindhouse masterpiece and one of those rare, unknown gems that you have to experience. Normally we'd get all tongue in cheek on the spoiler warning but seriously DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE UNTIL YOU'VE SEEN THE FILM.
Why is every filmmaker's vision of the future all dark and dystopian? Oh...that's right because people are garbage and the world is slowly circling a toilet bowl filled with remnants of whiskey shots and indigestible fast food burger patties. Speaking of garbage humans and splattering bodily fluids this week's film "What Happened To Monday?" features plenty of both. In a *surprise* dystopian future where couples are only allowed one child per household a woman gives birth to septuplets who are named for each day of the week. In order to keep their existence hidden each child is designated the day of their namesake to wander the world as a singular entity known as Karen Settman. Unsurprisingly, the facade doesn't last and they are soon discovered resulting in a desperate fight for their very existence. Even though this film has a lot of really great ideas none of them translate to a genuine, thrilling cinematic experience. Not to say this film isn't worth the price of admission as there are some truly great action sequences peppered with brutal and surprising death scenes. It might be the overall potential of this film that serves as it's most disappointing element when at the end you've discovered that you saw every single major plot twist coming a mile (or kilometer for our international listeners) away. We unanimously recommend that you watch this film prior to the podcast due to some of the more shocking and fun moments that make it worth the viewing.
We take another 80's nostalgia trip with this week's pick "The Money Pit". After being evicted from their New York apartment Tom Hanks and Shelley Long find a perfect house in the countryside that seems too good to be true. As they start to move in it becomes apparent the house wasn't the deal of the century as everything in it slowly begins to fall apart. This movie seems to exist to answer the question "Can a movie subsist entirely on the charisma of Tom Hanks?". The answer it seems may depend on your level of nostalgia for this film and your tolerance for over the top slapstick comedy. With truly cringe worthy ancillary characters and a plot so paper thin it would buckle under the weight of Kardashian modesty...this is a hard one to recommend if you haven't seen it before. Still, there are some fun moments for those who appreciate shallow, physical comedy. Once again I'll warn of spoilers but it seems incredibly reluctant in a film that's basically 92% sight gags.
Everything you need to know about this week's film "Death Sentence" can be summed up by a succinct description; It is a 2007 revenge film starring Kevin Bacon and directed by James Wan. What this should tell you is that it is a competently made film which seems to adapt plenty of familiar movie tropes but never expand them into grounbreaking territory. Even the set up to the film seems to be riddled with cliches and is immediately recognizable as a tired and familiar formula. Financial CEO and all around perfect suburbanite Nick Hume is thrust into a war with gang members when his son is murdered during an initiation. See? There are a few surprises and you could certainly do worse things with 105 minutes of your life but the overall consensus seems to be that this is a forgetable and uneven film. We're obliged to warn of spoilers but let's be real...if you do so much as read a plot description...you'll immediately know where this is headed.
Before we took some time off we pre-recorded a best of 2017 episode detailing the various media we enjoyed most in 2017 (whether it was released in 2017 or not). From movies to games to television we serve up a fun, casual episode of all things good in 2017. No spoilers or film to watch for this one, simply enjoy! Thanks for listening and here's hoping 2018 isn't a horrific shitpile!
We are back from the holidays discussing the film adaptation of "Bram Stoker's Dracula". Gary Oldman stars as the titular count in what we consider to be the 90's film with the largest wardrobe budget. While it's difficult to ignore the style and panache of the film, the bad acting and Shakespearean play influenced direction are impossible to ignore. Regardless of the feelings this film may leave you with, it certainly has not aged well and is definitely too long for it's own good. If it's taken you 26 years to watch this film I've gotta say at this point the spoilers are on you.
In 1999 "The Blair Witch Project" delighted horror audiences and spawned an endless sea of film's trying to cash in on the found footage craze inspired by it. In 2016 "Blair Witch" promised a return to form for the franchise but ultimately ended up forgotten before it was even released. Our film this week is the latter of the film's mentioned above and we can honestly say it was forgotten for good reason. A video surfaces online which shows footage of the first film's protagonist Heather. Her brother, driven to discover what happened to her assembles a team of friends to enter the woods in attempt to find her. There are so many good ideas that this film introduces and then immediately discards. It's unfortunate as this leaves the film feeling...wait for it...FORGETABLE. We appreciated a return to the found footage format but it's easy for the audience to lose interest before anything actually starts happening. It's not quite as bad as "Book of Shadows" but still misses enough marks to be mediocre at best. Be forewarned, we spoil an hour of people screaming "Peter!!"