There's A Movie For That
68-year-old Billy Joel just had his third child with his 35-year-old wife Alexis. Zach and Ryan talk about having a kid in your sixties and Zach expresses some concern over the situation. They also talk about "Only The Brave" and "The Babysitter" and the Dutch Destroyer.
Rockin The Suburbs
I was debating whether to see Suburbicon or Jigsaw this weekend. When I looked at their Rotten Tomato score they were both under 50%, with Jigsaw getting the better rating. I also knew that more people would want to see Jigsaw. Not only is it Halloween weekend, but generally people seem to like watching scary movies with a large group of people in a dark room. That being said I went to Suburbicon, because what could I really say about the eighth installment of the Saw series?
Maybe I should have gone to see Jigsaw.
Suburbicon opens up in a quiet, idyllic town in 1959, but things become chaotic when the Mayers, a black family, are the first African-Americans to move into town. If I never saw the trailer or knew the premise of the movie, I’d assume it was going to be about this family, as it seems like a compelling story to tell. That is not what the movie is about. The movie is about Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon), his family, and his dealings in the seedy underbelly of society. Gardner Lodge never even speaks to his new neighbors. So why does the movie open on the Mayers? A fair question.
After doing some research, I discovered that this movie came from two different ideas. The Coen Brothers wrote a script about a family who gets involved with some hired goons, and those circumstances then spiraling out of control. George Clooney wanted to do a movie based on true events of a black family moving into an all-white neighborhood in Levittown, PA. So rather than make two different movies, he decided to roll them into one big story. If you are thinking to yourself these two ideas seem too different to combine into one movie, you would be correct.
Besides the differing plot lines, Suburbicon grapples with different tones for each family, which don’t blend together. In one scene the director wants the audience laugh a little at the cop thinking Matt Damon is Jewish. Moments later we are supposed to feel ashamed about an incident in a grocery store that no doubt happened thousands of times in our recent past. These stories are not created equal. More emphasis is put on Matt Damon and the Lodge family, while I would be surprised if Mr. Mayers had even one line of dialogue in the entire movie.
Matt Damon and Julianne Moore both do well in the movie, as you would expect Oscar winners to do. But the best actor in the movie is Oscar Isaac, playing an insurance agent. He seems to be the only one who knows he is in a black comedy written by the Coen brothers and acts accordingly. The other actors all try to walk a tightrope between straight-laced serious and mischievously funny that doesn't balance out.
It is possible Clooney is trying to send a message about race relations in America. That if the majority of the country stays fixated on the color of someone's skin, then they may not be able to see the actual evil things that are happening right next door. And that is a worthwhile message to send. Unfortunately, that message gets lost in the movie's confused tone, because, as I said before, these two stories don't belong in the same movie. You can't do a murder mystery, dark comedy and then ask us to have a serious look inward at race relations. Well, you could, if Suburbicon was made by a more surefooted director.
There's A Movie For That
EPISODE 2: GIRLS CAN NOW JOIN THE BOY SCOUTS
In the second episode of 'There's A Movie For That' Zach Stone and Ryan Berger talk about the Boy Scouts finally deciding to admit girls into their organization and one group or people who are not happy about it. They also talk about the new movie Happy Death Day, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Patton Oswalt: Annihilation
Happy Groundhog Day
Happy Death Day Reviwed
We are in a renaissance of horror movies and most of that credit belongs to Blumhouse Productions. The company allows their directors to do whatever they want, as long as the budget is under $5 million. For that trust in their directors’ visions we have seen movies like Paranormal Activity, Insidious, The Purge, Split and Get Out. The latest addition to their string of horror movies is Happy Death Day, and not only was it another box office success but it was a good movie as well.
Happy Death Day is basically a horror movie version of Groundhog’s Day. Director Christopher Landon is well aware of that, even making a reference to the classic Bill Murray movie near the end. The story revolves around Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) a college student who is killed on her birthday only to wake up and relive the same day again and again until she finds her killer and saves herself.
While the movie belongs in the horror genre, the best part about Happy Death Day isn’t the scares, it’s the laughs. Don’t mistake that for me saying there aren’t any scary moments in the story. The person I was sitting next to used her popcorn to cover her eyes several times. The first third of the movie is made especially tense by the audience knowing our protagonist is going to die. But once Tree understands what is happening, writer Scott Lobdell shakes off the rules of the genre and reviles in its similarities to a comedy classic. Each death, and the moments surrounding it, becomes weirder and sillier.
Happy Death Day also does right by the mystery genre, as from the get-go the story is begging the audience to try and figure out who the killer is. What helps with the confusion is that Tree starts out the movie as such a horrible person that you genuinely believe there are at least a dozen people who would want to kill her. And for a movie with such a simple premise, Lobdell does a good job with misdirection and left me surprised multiple times.
Jessica Ross is quite good in the lead role. Over the course of the 96-minute movie, she changes from a bitchy, blonde sorority girl who we enjoy watching die in new and interesting ways, to someone we're rooting for. By the end I wanted her to live long enough to get a happily ever after with her own Andie MacDowell. Not only that, but Ross is pretty funny and wasn't afraid to let herself go for some of the moments that called for more physical comedy.
Happy Death Day has its scary moments, but that's not why the movie is good. The movie works due to its uncomplicated premise and light-hearted nature. The most disappointing part is that 'In Da Club' by 50 Cent isn’t her ringtone.
There's A Movie For That
Episode 1: NFL Players Kneeling
In the very first episode of 'There's A Movie For That' Zach Stone and Ryan Berger talk about NFL player kneeling during the anthem along with the movies and movie characters who could help or better handle the situation. They also discuss the new movies 'Blade Runner 2049', 'Cult of Chucky', and the show 'Big Mouth'
Blade Runner 2049 Reviewed
It’s kind of hard to believe that Blade Runner is getting a sequel, but even more surprising that I was initially excited. When the first movie was released it was considered a bomb – and justifiably so –over the entire theatrical run it made $26 million, $2 million less than the budget. It wasn’t until the director’s cut came out that it became a cult classic. I saw the director’s cut while I was working overnights at a radio station and that movie is SLLLLLOOOOOWWWWWW. My job at the station was to stay awake and make sure the radio station didn’t collapse and Ridley Scott did not make it easy that night. The movie looks good, but there are a lot of low-lit shots of Harrison Ford looking at something that leaves you wondering, “Did I turn off the lights before I left the house?” So when I saw that the new movie clocked in at two hours and forty minutes I got scared.
Blade Runner 2049 takes place 30 years after the events of the original movie. The LAPD are still hunting escaped replicants in order to retire them from the population. At the start of the movie, Officer K (Ryan Gosling) finds himself after one replicant (Dave Bautista) and what he discovers at the scene leads him on his narrative path for the rest of the movie.
The best thing about Blade Runner 2049 is the look of the movie. Denis Villeneuve and cinematographer Roger Deakins perfect the world Ridley Scott created 35 years ago. This was an important factor to get because the style of the original is what helped propel it to its revered status. In fact, this movie looks better thanks in part to modern day technology and because all the scenes aren't covered with shadows. It’s dystopian without everyone walking into unlit rooms.
This is also a better story than the original. The plot is much more engaging and makes more sense. Obviously, there is a catch-22, as the movie doesn't work without the original. You would be okay going into this movie without seeing the first, as this is an independent story. However, you will lose some of the importance of the narrative without having lived in this world before.
But it wouldn't be a Blade Runner movie if it didn't drag in the middle, and man does it drag in the middle. There are an easy 20 minutes in the second act that can be cut out, or least done more efficiently. However, when creating a story in this universe, the tone is just as important as the story, so maybe don't buy the large Coke before going into the theater.
Ryan Gosling is great in this movie; the man can easily pull off the brooding and grimy look while still looking sexy. He's also perfect for this part because he kind of feels like the modern day Harrison Ford—handsome, serious, but with a softer side that you know would be up for watching a fire on the couch while you both sit under a blanket. Speaking of, if you’re expecting to see Harrison Ford, then strap in because he doesn't show up until about 90 minutes into the movie. But this may be for the better because, honestly, Gosling is much more engaging and less rapey than Deckard was in the original.
In order to like this movie, you’re really going to have to like the noir genre and I don't know that many people who do. Most viewers don't want to sit through a nearly three-hour movie; they got shit to do. But if you like the original and can forgive the runtime, you will like this one better, as Denis Villeneuve and Ryan Gosling are better in Blade Runner world than Ridley Scott and Harrison Ford.